Food Security Theories

Date:  2021-03-22 08:51:59
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Food security is an interdisciplinary concept that has relevance to political, social and economic considerations. Sociology is key in elaborating the understanding of the sociopolitical roots of hunger through the use of an intricate approach which exploits the sociologys strengths in the foundation of social stratification, culture, comparative method and the social structure. Food security as defined by Ribar and Moffitt is the access to adequate food at all times by the people for a healthy active life (2016, p. 1123). From the definition, there is emphasize on the structural factors and the distress that is felt by the individuals for not having access to food thereby indicating the ongoing state that entails the availability of food in multiple dimensions. The essay, therefore, seeks to illustrate the scope in which shifts in the food security theories have followed the trend in the nudging of poverty.

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Food security encompasses three components which are food availability, utilization and access (Alamirew et al., 2015 p.1121). To attain food security, there needs to be a reliable food supply and the individuals must have the capacity to acquire it and stem the nutritional good from it. Otero, Pechlaner and Gurcan postulate that food security concerns poverty, deprivation, and food shortage (2013, p. 270). The shortage of food concerns the food supply that is available to the populace within a specified geographic area. Globally, there is the general surplus in food availability (Montoya, Montoya and Gonzalez 2015, p.916). Food poverty therefore exists when the individual within specific countries cannot access sufficient food to meet their nutritional wants of their adherents either due to the pitiable access of the productive resources, inadequate income, lack of the entitlements to food and inability to benefit from the public food resources (Genuis, Willows and Jardine, C 2015 p. 605).

Food poverty emphasizes the overlapping links between hunger and poverty with the trends in one reflecting on the other. It is not only the economic capability to acquire food but also the other types of poverty generated for the systematic abjuration to attain food security which are gender, urban-rural differences, ethnicity and other inequalities (Ribar and Moffitt, 2016, p. 1123). The deprivation of food concerns the nutritional sufficiency of the food. People might fail to have access to food to meet their health requirements, but as noted by Crump, it can also be due to the wants of the vulnerable individuals like the newborns and the pregnant women (2014, p. 300)

Food insecurity is described as a situation when persons must live with the distress of starvation and hunger (Ribar and Moffitt, 2016, p. 1123). In such a regard, it exhibits starvation, hunger, and instances of poverty. Thus, the security of food has more to do with inequality (Otero, Pechlaner and Gurcan, 2013, p. 270). Food security and feminine therefore should be considered as a process which accentuates their ongoing reality and not as a mere event (Bualar, 2016, p .489). Food security thus is embedded in globalization, international political economy, and structure and has significant social consequences more specifically for those persons susceptible to stratification (Montoya, Montoya and Gonzalez 2015, p.916).

Food Security Measures

Supply Measure on the Import Dependency

The supply measure is brought when considering the ratio of the nations food imports about the food obtainable within the nation for internal circulation. Such a concept is vital in that it segregates the international element of food accessibility (Mabuza et al., 2016 p. 209). The countries which import greater quantities of food about some their exports and the internal production usually have high ratios. Due to the globalization of the global markets, imports are progressively important (Bualar, 2016, p .489). Even though the dependency has negative connotations often, importation of food demonstrates the nations ability to access the food in the international markets (Sabate, Harwatt and Soret 2016, p.819).

Therefore, when measuring availability, what matters is the accessibility and the availability of food to the general public that can be utilized for survival without considering wheatear it is produced locally or imported (Mao, Yang and Zhao, 2013).

Another measure is the hunger in the total populace constructed from the supply data of food as a percentage of the populace whose access to food is below minimum need of the country. Although the availability threshold is a nice benchmark through which one can compare countries, it is hard to inaugurate a common human standard for daily energy because of climatic, age, sexual differences and race which determine the individual needs (Bualar, 2016, p .489). FAO, however, has formulated these measure by taking into consideration a threshold for the individual country by using it in the determination of the proportions of the populace within which falls under the minimum wants (Alamirew et al., 2015 p.1121).

FAO has constructed this measure by supercilious a log-normal dissemination of the calorie available per capita and the approximation of the lowest energy necessity of individual persons founded on the age and the sex of the group in the populace (Mabuza et al., 2016 p. 209). The estimation is used in determining the percentage of a populace which devours lower than the tiniest requirement centered on distribution. The measure uses the proven available data combined with the basal metabolic needs of different persons to formulate the minimum standard and hence is a perfect proxy for the food access within the country (Sabate, Harwatt and Soret 2016, p.819).

Child starvation is derived from the trustworthy anthropometry and national samples from the less developed countries. Under-nutrition or child anger is the ratio of the children below five of age who weigh less by minus two standard deviancies from the average of the population in reference (Mabuza et al., 2016 p. 209). The measure is of importance as like the relative insufficiency of the food supply; it does move the food security yonder the simple processes of supply. It calls the attention of the problems of distribution and the potential deficiencies in nutrition instead.

Correlated to this, is the prevalence of babies with low birth weight as a percentage of the total births. Ribar and Moffitt note that babies born with a weight less 2.5 kgs have low birth-weight (2016, p. 1123). Even though it is not a direct measure of food security, low-birth weights are associated with inadequate health and the mothers nutrition. The measure thus captures the accessibility problems of food amongst the vulnerable populations due to the presence of the underweight children.

Another indicator is that of female anemia. It is measured as the proportion of the women who are pregnant with the deficiency of iron, usually the levels of hemoglobin that are less than 11 grams per deciliter (Genuis, Willows and Jardine, C 2015 p. 605). Anemia is an important determinant of food security in the LDCs. Female anemia as a health indicator results from a diet that is inadequate amongst the specific vulnerable segment of the populace and does indicate the potential barriers to the availability of food, utilization, and access. The presence of insecurity amongst the segments of the populace in most cases indicates larger problems of hunger within the society (Crump, 2014 p. 304).

Food Security Theories

The explanation of food security relatively requires an integrated assessment tactic which cogitates the relations of the social systems and the ecosystems to account for the food security (Montoya, Montoya and Gonzalez 2015, p.916). A multiple theory and an inter-disciplinary approach to food security are most suited due to the fact of the copious elucidations for its frequent existence (Bualar, 2016, p .489).

1. Neo-Malthusian Perspectives

The discussion of food security usually begins with the ecological apprehensions of the population pressure and capability of the biosphere to nourish the planet (Mabuza et al., 2016 p. 209). To maintain food security, there needs to be a realization of a sustainable society which meets the wants of the present generation without compromising the needs of the future generations thereby balancing the human wants with the capacity of the earth to meet those wants without undergoing unrecoverable environmental damage. The practices of agriculture must thus utilize the land use strategies which maintain natural resources and soil fertility while producing an output adequate for consumption and the markets. The population is the vital starting point as denoted from the sociological perspective but however, it is never enough (Mao, Yang and Zhao, 2013).

2. Techno-ecology theory

Human ingenuity and technology are the supreme resources accessible that are not threatened by scarcity. Therefore as it was in the past, the future challenges that threaten the worlds carrying ability will be met (Genuis, Willows and Jardine, C 2015 p. 605). The perspectives of techno-ecology are closely allied with the availability of the food and the prominence of the adoption of the best agricultural practices to produce adequate food. The green revolution resulted from this philosophy, and therefore the need for the spread of new technologies to the LDCs whereby food is most needed. The intensification of agriculture and fertilizer use are thus associated with the adaptations of the human.

3. Dependence and world system theories

Food security being a global phenomenon, persons ought to consider the international factors that affect hunger. World system and dependence theories in this regard do address the links that exist amongst individual countries and the global food order (Crump, 2014 p. 304). World system and dependence theorists do emphasis on the negative consequences of food security as being an international phenomenon. It is necessary for this context to consider the countrys patterns of social transformation and if it has attained the development goals which will assist in the needs of food security (Otero, Pechlaner and Gurcan, 2013, p. 270). The scope and function of manor agriculture to the frugalities of the developing nations, trade patterns for the food products amongst the developing and developed countries are very important considerations. Of significance also is the consideration of food aid as it can disrupt the indigenous markets through price deflation and the ways in which the worldwide economy has transmuted the self-sufficient sustenance agriculture to an export driven invention characterized by the order of the international capitalist (Montoya, Montoya and Gonzalez 2015, p.916).

4. Urbanization

The perspectives of urbanization shift the focus of disparity from between the south and north to the disarticulation between urban and rural areas (Bualar, 2016, p .489). In urban areas, developments are favored as the economic elites garner the political power in cities and formulate policies to their advantage thereby leaving the rural areas undeveloped (Alamirew et al., 2015 p.1121). Taxation, pricing, capital investments and other benefits from the policies are more and as such, there is an increase in the disparity between the urban and the rural which keeps the rural populace poor and powerless (Genuis, Willows and Jardine, C 2015 p. 605).

The differences between urban and rural equate to the gaps amid the industrial and agricultural manufacturing segments of the society which therefore means that policy errands the economic investment in the city while disfavoring...

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