Provocation: The Global Threat to Food Security

Posted by chichi | Food Security | Wednesday 28 October 2009 9.51 am

The Global Threat to Food Security

Kate Bailey, Senior Research Associate, Food Process Innovation Unit, Cardiff Business School offers this provocation on Food Security:

As global population looks set to grow from 6 billion to 9 billion, food production will need to double at a time where there are real concerns over the availability of energy, land and water as well as the challenge of climate change.

Here in the UK, we may be facing an end to an era of ever cheaper and abundant food.  Technology will need to play its part in transforming production but is it the only solution?  How far will we also need to change our attitudes to food and food supply?

Great points.  What do you think?  How do our attitudes need to change?  Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

Image credit: worldproutassembly.org

8 Comments »

  1. Comment by Provocateur — October 28, 2009 @ 10.28 am

    I would imagine if we could keep a steady global population rather than a growing population then the need for drastic food production shifts would be somewhat negated. So…

    Education
    Incentivisation
    Increased access to contraception
    Decreasing poverty levels (therefore reducing the need for bigger families)

    Would be a better way of tackling these problems. In my humble opinion.

  2. Comment by Erinma — October 28, 2009 @ 11.10 am

    This discussion seems to tap directly into the ageing debate that’s going on…

    Can you talk more about incentivisation – i think that is key to making change easier –

  3. Comment by Provocateur — October 28, 2009 @ 11.38 am

    In the UK it could be examples such as:

    No child benefit for additional children but increased child benefit for 1 child
    No tax credits for additional children
    Increased tax benefits for adopting/fostering unwanted children

    Its obviously a bigger political question in the rest of the world, but I am sure there could be better brains than mine that could come up with workable incentives to allow people to reduce the number of their own dependencies…

  4. Comment by Liz — October 28, 2009 @ 12.02 pm

    Patrick Holden from the Soil Association did a brilliant talk at the Do Lectures in September on food security. It’ll be online in a couple of weeks.
    http://www.dolectures.co.uk

  5. Comment by Debbie — October 29, 2009 @ 12.45 pm

    There seems to be little discussion about the amount of food that is wasted and how, if we addressed this, the picture of food security would not be so serious. I’m refering to waste that occurs (largely) due to the just in time systems that supermarkets have developed to reduce their costs at the expense of producers. I’d be very interested to know if there has been any research which has measured this. Whether its perfectly edible fruit that doesn’t pass the supermarket ‘beauty parade’ or potatoes that are deemed to be less than perfect which are then sprayed with dye to prevent the farmer from selling them anywhere else, so they end up as animal feed rather than being used for human use, its a food supply ‘system’that is badly dysfunctional and needs fixing. Add to that the wastage in the home due to misconceptions about best before and sell buy dates, BOGOF etc. and you begin to see how much food that is produced is not being consumed. Lets sort it out.
    For more on this read Feleicity Lawrence’s book Not on the Label – and as a result, hopefully, never step inside a supermarket again.

  6. Comment by Erinma — October 30, 2009 @ 4.03 pm

    From the twitter feed: thought this is important point for the illustrators

    KateSBailey: Thanks #cmxd. Mango debate perfectly sums up the issues – local vs global? consumer choice vs societal needs?

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