The Challenge of Food Security
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The Challenge of Food Security

International Policy and Regulatory Frameworks

Edited by Rosemary Rayfuse and Nicole Weisfelt

This timely study addresses the pressing issue of food security through a range of interdisciplinary contributions, providing both scholarly and policy-making perspectives. It sets the discussion on food security within the little-studied context of its international legal and regulatory framework. The expert contributors explore the key issues from a development perspective and through the lens of existing governance and policy systems with a view to articulating how these systems can be made more effective in dealing with the roots of food insecurity.
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Chapter 2: A fresh look at the roots of food insecurity

Craig Pearson


Our food systems are complex. They are built on relatively few grains, vegetables and animal products that have been domesticated over millennia and, arising from these, a vast array of fresh, packaged and processed products. These products are transported, stored, transformed and traded around the world as the most obvious daily example of our ‘global economy’. What is not complex, though, is food insecurity. The reason we have food insecurity is simple: food production and its distribution do not meet the needs of the world’s population. This chapter first deconstructs this simplicity. It then uses an image or model of the food system as two connected cycles. Revealing the potentially cyclical nature of our global food system makes it easier to identify foci where interventions could improve production and distribution. These improvements, when located within a fresh strategic perspective, which addresses the need to re-orient our thinking about closed systems and the minimization of waste or leakage, can tackle food insecurity.

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