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What is food security

What is food security?

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to enough safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy lifestyle.
World Food Summit, 1996

To be food secure means that:

  • food is available – The amount and quality of food available can be affected by many factors including climate, disasters, war, civil unrest, population size and growth, agricultural practices, social status and trade.
  • food is affordable – When there is a shortage of food, prices increase and while richer people will likely still be able to feed themselves, poorer people may have difficulty obtaining sufficient safe and nutritious food without assistance.
  • food is utilised – At the household level, sufficient and varied food needs to be prepared safely so that people (male and female) can grow and develop normally, meet their energy needs and avoid disease.

Food security. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2017, from

LInks to websites

  The future of food

Producing enough food to sustain the Earth's population is becoming more of a challenge. As environmental constraints keep tightening, technological innovation may be the answer to future food security.

Compare the status of food production and food security in Australia with that of developing nations. Consider some claims and evidence about food production. Investigate what can be done to feed the world of tomorrow, and how it might best be accomplished. 

  Food security and why it matters
Food security has four interrelated elements: availability, access, utilisation and stability.

  Food insecurity in Australia
Australian government website: explores food insecurity in Australia with a focus on identifying those most likely to suffer it as well as considering its impacts.

  Global food security index
The 2016 Global Food Security Index provides a worldwide perspective on which countries are the most and least vulnerable to food insecurity.

Global Food Security Index

Food security index: thoughts from the field

Splash ABC

How much food does Australia produce, and what does this mean for food security in Australia? Watch this clip to find out about the factors that influence food production and crop yields, and also about the role that science and technology play. How will future population growth affect global food production and security?

Splash ABC

Food security, or sufficient access to safe and nutritious food, is of rising global concern. Watch this animated clip to discover the main problems facing food security, and to see some suggestions for solutions that might incorporate strategies like waste management practices and emerging technologies.