Food environments: The missing piece in achieving food security

IANDA logoFood security, simply put, is access to adequate food to meet dietary needs. In the 1970s, action toward food security focused on staple grain production and availability, which increased dramatically due to the Green Revolution. In the 1980s, emphasis moved to the concept of entitlements: that income and other individual factors would determine whether an individual could gain access to adequate food .

Accordingly, donors’ and governments’ core strategies to address food security have been to raise incomes and increase food availability – the latter typically measured in terms of staple grain stocks and calories.  It is assumed that as incomes increase, people will use their income to purchase nutritious diets and shape what is produced. Thus, access to adequate food is supposedly assured.

There is a problem, though. More calories and greater income does not necessarily translate into more nutritious diets and better nutrition outcomes.

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