Food Security 101
If you answered yes to the checklist above, congratulations, you are food secure.
First recognized by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, the right to food is a fundamental human right that can’t be fully understood without understanding what food security is. Food security refers to a state where everyone has physical and economic access to safe and nutritious food at all times to support a healthy life.
Food security is broken down into four key components:
In order to be food secure, all four conditions must be met. This means that individuals should have access to diverse and nutritional foods that are proximate and affordable at all times.
In order to understand the rising prevalence of food insecurity, we have to understand the root causes. There are many social determinants that contribute to food insecurity and its varying degrees. These include race, ethnicity, income, employment, disability, low wages, unaffordable housing, lack of social support, proximity to grocery stores, and lack of diverse and culturally inclusive food options.
The increase in food insecurity is an issue that impacts everyone. Food-insecure individuals have a greater likelihood of requiring short and long-term care for chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancers, mental disorders, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, and endocrine-related diseases, to name a few. This, in turn, adds an increased burden on health care systems and resources, costing millions.
When we consider the health of individuals and communities, we can’t ignore the importance of access to healthy and nutritious foods. Food insecurity is a public health challenge that is only expected to worsen if nothing is done to address it.
No one should have to go to sleep hungry or not know when they will eat their next meal. Food insecurity is an issue we should all care about. Addressing and preventing food insecurity is essential to improving health, education, our economy, and advancing social development to build a brighter, healthier future for everyone.
Stay tuned for more updates as we shed light on food insecurity and community efforts to ensure everyone has access to nutritious foods.
Now that’s some food for thought!