Food security

Johnson, Hope & Walters, Reece (2014) Food security. In Gill, Martin (Ed.) The Handbook of Security [Second Edition]. Palgrave McMillan, London, pp. 404-427.

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION

Globally, one-third of food production is lost annually due to negligent authorities. India alone loses some 21 million tonnes of wheat per year even while it has 200 million food-insecure people in the nation. Disturbingly provocative as it may sound, it is amazing how national and international institutions and governments make use of human hunger for their own survival (Raghib 2013).

The global food system is increasingly insecure. Challenges to long-term global food security are encapsulated by resource scarcity, environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, climate change, reductions of farm labour and a growing world population. These issues are caused and aggravated by the spread of corporatised and monopolised food systems, dietary change, and urbanisation. These factors have rapidly brought food insecurity under the umbrella of unconventional security threats (Heukelom 2011). For some, humanitarian crises associated with food insecurity, or what has been dubbed ‘the silent tsunami’, is a pending peril, notably for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. For others, the food production industry is an emerging market with unprecedented profits. Despite this problem of food scarcity we are witnessing extraordinary ‘food wastage’, notably in North America and Europe, on a scale that would reportedly be capable of feeding the world’s hungry six times over (Stuart 2012).

As the opening quotation to this chapter suggests, governments and corporations are deeply involved in the contexts, politics, and resources associated with food related issues. As many economically developed and advanced industrial nations are reporting a rise out of recession, announcements are made by the world’s richest countries that they are to cut $US2 billion per year from food aid. The head of the World Food Aid Programme, Rosette Sheeran, warns that such cuts could result in ‘the loss of a generation’ (Walters 2011). The global food crisis has also reinvigorated debates about agricultural development and genetically modified (GM) food; as well as fuelling debates about poverty, debt and security. This chapter provides a discussion of the political economy of global food debates and explores the threats and opportunities surrounding food production and future food security.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 72161
Item Type: Book Chapter
ISBN: 9781137323279
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Criminology not elsewhere classified (160299)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Crime & Justice Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Current > Schools > School of Law
Deposited On: 27 May 2014 23:36
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2016 15:12

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