GLOBAL FOOD INSECURITY: HOW FOOD SECURITY BEEN GOVERNED IN AMERICA?
Food security is understands as food that can be access by people in one’s country. Food security become a global issue even in developed countries; hence still have not managed to handle it well. Food security has become a global issue as it been taking serious and involved with economic of country.
The World Food Summit (1996), has provides full illustration and explanation of food security. They defined it as “When all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life” The World Food Summit (1996). The conception of food security involved either substantial or financial access to food that meets people’s food needs and fulfil people daily dietary.
Food insecurity is opposite word of food security which has profound in global issue whereas it becomes a health problem that correlated between dietary excess and health problems. Jenniffer Clapp and Mare J. Cohen (2009), in their book titled “The Global Food Crisis: Governance Challenging and Opportunities” has explained food insecurity as the feeling of anxiety especially for those people who have low income salary in developing world categorized as food insecure (Clapp and Mare J. Cohen, 2009). Indeed, the food prices of food production increase and would not be able to control.
Many scholars have described the meaning of food security. Nonetheless, but at the most broad level, food security is mention as the accessibility of nutrition and society’s capability to consume the right amount of healthy food. America still facing the same problem with others countries, as according to USDA there are several places that still having food insecure that above US average.
There are many factors that led to food security challenges, namely population growth, demographic change, changes in food consumption patterns, rising global food prices, the development and use of new technologies in food production and global climate change. Each of these factors is consequence of food security.
However, I am more concerned in this essay with the rising food prices in United State of America that been a crucial problem in this era of globalization. Even though America is developed country but hence it still facing the same problem with the developing ones. United States have their own definition to give the illustration of what has going on in America. Chris Hunt (1997) Food Program Director explained that they called food dessert as the term to describe the situation in US. Chris signifies food dessert as the place that has limited of healthy food and majority of low-income neighbourhoods. In such people in certain area may have excess to junk food than to healthy consume food such as vegetables and fruits. I shall discuss further on the rising food prices in US.
FOOD PRICES GOES HIGH
Rising food prices in the late of 2006 and increasingly during 2008, not everyone effort to by nutritious food because their salary remain same. Government of US implemented many programs to prevent this from spread over the nation. Jennifer Clapp (2009), in her book, she stated that food prices goes high in the mid of 2008. When there are no enough food productions, everything is in demand.
The parties responsible for determining the price of goods has taken advantage by charging higher prices on to consumers due to high demand. Besides the food prices were at the high state because of the limited stock of supply. Furthermore, the staple foods by US citizens, namely corn, dairy products, wheat, grain and etc. has increasing in prices as well. I will write about the main courses of US food production.
The food prices rose show grocers are starting to get ahead of their higher wholesale expenses toward customers. Paul Davidson (2014), he reported on USA Today newspaper that “…. Retail food prices rose 0.4% in March, the same as in February and the largest amount since September 2011. By comparison, the prices of all consumer goods rose 0.2% in March and 0.1% the month before, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Beef, pork, poultry, eggs and milk have had the most dramatic price increases as drought, a virus outbreak and rising exports have thinned U.S. supplies. Overall consumer prices rose 0.2% in March, a bit more rapidly than in recent months, and annual inflation was 1.5%, up from 1.1% in February. Annual inflation was 1.5% in March, up from 1.1% in February. That’s well below the Federal Reserve’s 2% target, as falling gasoline prices offset rising food costs…..”
Practically every food staples in United States has goes up in price. Among the reasons the price increase is due to higher oil prices. Consequently import and export activities make the process of trade exchange in higher charge for example the transportation cost, the labor cost and etc. I believe that food providers also took the opportunity to raise the price of daily necessities such as the food companies, grocery stores and etc. While, according to USDA, the food insecurity in America has almost 15 percent of the populations were food insecure in the year 2010. The food insecurity is hard to measure. People with food insecurity have high risk to malnutrition, hunger and especially towards children; they might have the physical abnormal growth and mental disorder because of they have no enough nutrition to consume. I shall discuss further on this issue in the next section.
This essay will give answers to the following identified research questions below;
•Who is governing the issue?
•How is the issue being governed?
•How fairly and effectively is the issue being governed?
To discuss this, the next section of the essay would be devoted to literature review.
Research has been made previously that has discussed the food insecurity impacts on the global governance issue. Food insecurity defined as the situation where people do not have an enough access to healthy food.
The concept of food security is describable as straightforward. It is to ensuring that people get enough excess to foods for their daily consume to healthy lifestyle. Rosemary Gail Rayfuse, and Nicole Weisfelt (2012), has proclaimed that to make sure that food security is not easy because there was a record stated that it has been a major problem in global issue (Rosemary Gail Rayfuse, and Nicole Weisfelt, 2012). The amount of people that has not have an enough excess to healthy food is still at the high risk.
Craigh Pearson (edited by Rosemary Gail Rayfuse, and Nicole Weisfelt, 2012), he cited that the factors of food insecurity is because of food productions does not fulfil the needs of world’s population (Craigh Pearson 2012). Craigh emphasized that many factors that led to the food insecurity for example, insufficient of food stocks, ineffective of transportations, globalization of trade, economic and political factors as well.
Food security has become a global issue since twenty-first century as it is the crucial problem that situated at the bond of environment, culture and technology. There are a lot of challenges facing through the era globalization. The more the world become globalize the more challenges facing to maintain the food security. Bryan L. McDonald (2010) provides full illustration and explanation of food security. According to Bryan (2010):
“…rising food prices have motivated unrest in many parts of the world and increased the number of people who do not receive proper nutrition to levels not seen in decades. Agricultural and food production activities have been recognized as key drivers of environmental and climate changes at the same time that studies had revealed that food production could face significant and widespread impacts from these changes in coming decades…”
The statement shown the rising food prices may lead to the problems of food security because not everyone is effort to buy food when the prices increasing. Especially for the poor households’ family definitely would not effort to buy the same food that have nutrition as rich households’ family. Smil 2000; Pinstrup 2007; Brown 2009 quoted by Bryan (2010), the key drivers that led to food insecurity which is meant that the absence of secure of food, as a daily realism for billions of citizen everywhere in the world making their live less secure. Food security is basically come out from three supports namely food availability, food access and food consumption. In other words, people need to have an enough access of healthy food at all the time to be food secure. Otherwise, those have not have enough access to dietary food is considered as food insecure.
Rosemary G. and Nicole V. (20) edition of the book title The Challenge of Food Security: International Policy and Regulatory Frameworks, they said that food availability is not the problem of the food insecurity. The problem was the inability for the poorest people to buy food at the affordable prices. Even though the food stocks are available to access but yet, when the prices are high, people with low income salary would not be able to afford it. I shall discuss this in the next section of this write up.
RQ 1: WHO IS GOVERNING THE ISSUE?
The food security has been governed by a few bodies of international governmental organization, namely UN, WTO, USDA, FAO, and World Bank.
The body that responsible in governing this issue is surely government of United State of America. The government of America itself has formed a society called United States of Development and Agriculture (USDA). USDA function as the body that helping rural citizens in America to flourish, they help to promote agriculture production to maintain the needs of Americans and at the same time providing others throughout the sphere with healthy food as well. Hence, USDA has contributed a lot towards the food security problems in their country. This body responsible to make sure that their people get enough nutrition food. Guaranteeing the food security has been a vital feature of world governance responsibility to encourage the sustainability of whole nations. I will discuss further of this on the research question number two “How this issue being governed?”
Besides that, United Nations has played a crucial role in maintaining the food security in whole global. There are many agencies under United Nations that focusing on maintaining this food security policy. UN has their agency that work on this issue which is FAO. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is the agency that has 194 members of United Nation. FAO is responsible to make sure that people in the world get sufficient amount of food and get access to high-quality of healthy food. Nevertheless, FAO is responsible to eliminate food security, hunger and malnutrition in the world.
I namely other organisation that has an important role in governing this issue which is World Trade Organisation (WTO), is the body that accountable in trade policy as well as food trade. The WTO is the membership organisation where independent nation-states assemble in order to extend regular policy for worldwide trade. Hence, the policy is the consequence of extensive processes of deliberation between member states. The agreement among member states normally without voting but they using common agreement between them.
All these aforementioned governing bodies shall discuss more in the next research question.
RQ 2:HOW IS THE ISSUE BEING GOVERNED?
How this issue is being governed, I will elaborate it more details according to the functional bodies discussed previously.
Government of United States has implemented many ways to try to overcome the food insecurity problems of their citizens. USDA has made research on the households that facing the food security problems and has the low income salary per capita.
Discussing on how it is being governing, there are scholars according through their thesis, Alisha Coleman-Jensen, William McFall, and Mark Nord (2013), they have rightly observed that USDA have implemented an assistance programs in order to improve children’s food security by providing low-income households with access to a healthful diet and nutrition education. These programs by USDA are to support the amount of children that facing food insecurity. Children is the main asset of the world, so when there is limited excess to nutritious food, it might be effected the physically and mentally of the children itself. That is why government really concerned on this issue.
The global food prices were on rise especially on the main food resources such as corn, wheat, cooking oil and grain. This really affected on media, economic, political agendas. Because of this factor, people of low income salary have limited access to the healthy dietary food. The government itself is trying at their level best to give the subsidies to their citizens through the many programs.
The government of United States, Craig Gundersen (2012) in his article, he explained that to addressing food insecurity in U.S, they have to do some indication on how fundamentals, food banks, legislator, program bureaucrat and campaigner which can be use as the way to lessen the food insecurity. Craigh (2012) believed with these programs held by government of US helps to reduce food insecurity problems. For example, the contribution in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as the Food Stamp program, contribution in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), besides the use of crisis food assistance programs; decreasing the food prices; and improving financial management skills can all lead to reductions in food insecurity.
Furthermore, the government of America has implemented the food assistance program which is considerable remote food assistance system which called as food banks. Food banks or distinguished as Feeding America, Craig (2012) in his writing, stated that there was 201 food banks and it is roughly 80 percent of all the food banks in the United States and food banks has served more than thousands of organisations (Craig 2012). These food banks have received straight contributions from food product companies, retail stores, restaurants, individual contributors as well as donations. When food banks received all donations from these parties, they managed to reduce the food insecurity in their country.
World Trade Organisation the independent organization that deal with the international trade and food trade play an important part in governing this issue. The rising food prices in US, is because of high demand of the goods in global. In addition, WTO needs to control the trade activity between nations. WTO works on food security by implemented WTO Agriculture Committee in order to make sure how effectively the trade policy in ensuring the supplies of food. Trade policy and food security really related to one another. Christopher S., Romilly G., Jane K AND Stephen D. (2000) in their edition book, “The WTO Agreement on Agriculture and Food Security”, they believed that trade liberalisation really gives direct or indirect effects on food prices. The food prices might be affected due to the multilateral trade agreements. As WTO controlled over the duty and tariff of the goods, import and export, hence WTO needs to ensuring that the duty and taxes are acceptable and will not affected the government policies on the food prices.
The effectiveness of these governing bodies is still questionable that I will discuss on that in next write up.
RQ3: HOW FAIRLY AND EFFECTIVELY IS THE ISSUE BEING GOVERNED?
Based on the current trends of the globalization, I personally think that this issue is not fair enough and still ineffectively being governed. Why I said so it is because of the citizens that comes from different background but still have to surrender to the rising prices of crude that not everyone can afford it.
The goods increases due to insufficient natural resources are a major cause prices to rise sharply. People have limited access to staple foods because the human population is increasing and the food’s stock will not be able to meet the needs of all citizens. People need to prepare their own food needs and there must be sufficient amount of basic requirements and nutrition foods to meet their daily consuming dietary. Therefore, it is questionable whether the world can provide sufficient amount of foods to world’s population?
The increases in prices of goods that are not constant and adoption from free markets are found ineffective ways to prevent food insecurity problems in the United States. There are still many people in United States who had to go through life without enough vigorous food.
The government of United States itself is not being fair towards their citizens. The fairness is hard to achieve since rising food prices involving the global governance issue and it is global food prices. So far there is still no way of reduction made by the government in view of the increase in prices of goods remains in place. Even though there were programs handling in United States, I still believe there is no fairness regards on this issue as the foods are not distributed fairly.
Food security seems a lot tougher than before because of the increasing of world’s populations. The government and all agencies involved really have to take it in their nerves when the stocks of supplies are not enough to feed the populations. The food security problem has become a critical issue and the issue continuously happen through years.
Bryan L. (2010) Food Security; Polity Press.
Christopher S., Romilly G., Jane K. & Stephen D. (2000) edt, The WTO Agreement on Agriculture and Food Security; Commonwealth Secretariat
Craig G. (2012), Addressing U.S Food Insecurity; University of Illinois
Jennifer C. and Marc J. (2009) edt, The Global Food Crisis; Governance Challenges and Opportunities; Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
Paul Davidson (2014); USA Today; April 16, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/04/16/cpi-shows-food-prices-rising/7742669/
World Trade Organisation (2013), Food Security; Retrieved from http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/agric_e/food_security_e.htm. 9th Jan 2015.
USAID (2015); Agriculture and Food Security; retrieved from http://www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/agriculture-and-food-security
Rosemary G. and Nicole V. (2012) edt, The Challenge of Food Security; International Policy and Regulatory Framework. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.
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