News tagged with food supply

Related topics: climate change

Hurricane season has begun: are you ready?

(HealthDay)—As Hurricane Arthur threatens the East Coast of the United States, people are getting an important reminder about safety preparations they need to make for hurricane season.

Jul 03, 2014
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Impact of pesticide residue hard to track, experts say

Pesticides have been linked to Parkinson's disease, declines in cognitive performance, developmental disorders, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children. Their application has also been tied ...

May 28, 2014
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FDA introduces new food defense rule

(HealthDay)—A new rule to protect the nation's food supply from terrorism has been introduced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency announced Friday.

Dec 21, 2013
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Experts hope sugar, salt are next on FDA target list

Now that the Food and Drug Administration has moved to banish most trans fats from the nation's diet, some public health advocates are hopeful that two other beloved ingredients - sugar and salt - will be subject to similar ...

Nov 12, 2013
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China beefs up law to fight food safety scandals

(AP)—China's top court has issued guidelines calling for harsher punishment for making and selling unsafe food products in the latest response to tainted food scandals that have angered the public.

May 03, 2013
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FDA device will screen for fake medicines overseas

U.S. health officials are making a high-tech screening device available to African authorities to help spot counterfeit malaria pills in hopes that the technology may eventually be used to combat the fake drug trade worldwide.

Apr 24, 2013
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Shanghai finds another 800 dead pigs in river

Shanghai fished another 809 dead pigs out of its main waterway on Friday, bringing the total carcasses found this week to 8,300 in a scandal that has spotlighted China's troubles with food safety.

Mar 15, 2013
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Food security

Food security refers to the availability of food and one's access to it. A household is considered food secure when its occupants do not live in hunger or fear of starvation. According to the World Resources Institute, global per capita food production has been increasing substantially for the past several decades. In 2006, MSNBC reported that globally, the number of people who are overweight has surpassed the number who are undernourished - the world had more than one billion people who were overweight, and an estimated 800 million who were undernourished. According to a 2004 article from the BBC, China, the world's most populous country, is suffering from an obesity epidemic.

Worldwide around 852 million people are chronically hungry due to extreme poverty, while up to 2 billion people lack food security intermittently due to varying degrees of poverty (source: FAO, 2003). As of late 2007, increased farming for use in biofuels, world oil prices at more than $100 a barrel, global population growth, climate change, loss of agricultural land to residential and industrial development, and growing consumer demand in China and India have pushed up the price of grain. Food riots have recently taken place in many countries across the world.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain food security in a world beset by a confluence of "peak" phenomena, namely peak oil, peak water, peak grain and peak fish. More than half of the planet's population, numbering approximately 3.3 billion people, live in urban areas as of November 2007. Any disruption to farm supplies may precipitate a uniquely urban food crisis in a relatively short time. The ongoing global credit crisis has affected farm credits, despite a boom in commodity prices. Food security is a complex topic, standing at the intersection of many disciplines.

A new peer-reviewed journal of Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food is to be published from 2009. In developing countries, often 70% or more of the population lives in rural areas. In that context, agricultural development among smallholder farmers and landless people provides a livelihood for people allowing them the opportunity to stay in their communities. In many areas of the world, land ownership is not available, thus, people who want or need to farm to make a living have little incentive to improve the land.

In the US, there are approximately 2,000,000 farmers, less than 1% of the population. A direct relationship exists between food consumption levels and poverty. Families with the financial resources to escape extreme poverty rarely suffer from chronic hunger; while poor families not only suffer the most from chronic hunger, but are also the segment of the population most at risk during food shortages and famines.

Two commonly used definitions of food security come from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA):

The stages of food insecurity range from food secure situations to full-scale famine. "Famine and hunger are both rooted in food insecurity. Food insecurity can be categorized as either chronic or transitory. Chronic food insecurity translates into a high degree of vulnerability to famine and hunger; ensuring food security presupposes elimination of that vulnerability. [Chronic] hunger is not famine. It is similar to undernourishment and is related to poverty, existing mainly in poor countries."

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA