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This piece will give a brief reflection on the topic of Food Security and Nutrition, the key learnings from the topic based on several academic journals, which argue the area from differing viewpoints. This all comes from a food system that faces the challenge of feeding more people than ever before under conditions of dwindling natural resources. (Brzeska & Fan: 2016)

The view of Brzeska and Fan (2016) is that the challenge of greater food security and nutrition has been hampered by what they describe as oversimplified beliefs regarding the strategy required. Their paper on the issue deals with debunking some of what they call common myths surrounding food security, nutrition, and sustainability. They believe it is possible to achieve all of these with the right policy. One of the myths they focus on debunking is that there has to be a trade-off between them. If food security is to be achieved, the environment has to suffer. I found it incredible, that this “stealing from the rich to feed the poor” kind of attitude exists amongst global policymakers. Policy must strive to achieve food security and nutrition for all, in a way that is sustainable and widespread.

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Another area that opened my eyes when doing some wider reading on the area was that the area of food security and nutrition is not just related to what we traditionally believe to be the “third-world” countries. The latest FAO (2018) report on Food Security and Nutrition had some really interesting statistics on malnutrition, but more interesting to me was the effect of “over-nutrition”, on the overall figures. A major problem for world nutrition at the moment is adult obesity. In 2017 more than 1 in 8 adults across the globe were classified as obese, this accounts for more than 672 million people. North America accounts for the largest proportion of this figure. It is important when looking at this area of food security and nutrition to go in with your eyes open as these problems exist all over the globe, and not where I and others would have traditionally viewed it.

A follow-up from my reading also led me to the transitional period that urbanization and nutrition are currently experiencing and the challenges and opportunities it presents. According to Thanh et al., (2005), urbanization leads to an increase in the demand for more and better food and this leads to diversification in farming and provides farmers with more opportunities. However, this growth in urbanization also leads to problems and increases pressure on the global food and agricultural systems which are already under pressure due to climate change. Shifting diets leads to a more intensive use of land and natural resources (Shenggen et al., 2017).

I have gained a far more rounded view of the challenges and opportunities linked with global food security and nutrition, with the most interesting part being, the huge impact the Western world has on these areas.

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