Food Security: A Long Term Issue

William W. Riley, PhD*

Food Security: A Long Term Issue.

Food security……the term is often used, and a number of definitions have been offered for it. The United Nation’s FAO Committee on World Food Security offers this:” All people at all times have both physical and economic access to the basic food they need”. “All people,” at present, means more than 7.3 billion inhabitants of this planet, with that number growing by the day. In fact, despite efforts to the contrary, the world population continues to expand at an alarming rate relative to humanity’s past.

Although the last 50 years have seen a decrease in the rate of population growth, due to increased use of contraception, later age of marriage, especially for women, and a voluntary reduction in the number of children reared in the more developed countries, the reality is that the overall world population continues to grow.

According to the World Bank and the United Nations, 1-2 billion people in the world remain malnourished due to insufficient food, low incomes, and inadequate food distribution. If this trend continues to 2050 and beyond, we can expect 1.3-2.7 billion people to be in a similar circumstance. But hopefully, much of the rhetoric we hear about “feeding a hungry planet” will prove true. Certainly, to listen to vested interests in the agriculture and food sectors, we have only to continue to adopt new technologies to reach these starving masses and to meet the needs of the still unborn 2.5+ billion future inhabitants of the planet. Perhaps they are right. We can only hope so.

Adv Food Technol Nutr Sci Open J. 2015; SE(1): Se3-Se4. doi:10.17140/AFTNSOJ-SE-1-e002