Food Security and Environmental Sustainability
Discuss about the Global Sustainability Issue for Global Significance.
Sustainability is a complicated idea. Similarly, sustainable growth is described as a development that satisfies the contemporary needs without concession of the capability of the coming cohorts to fulfill their needs (Rozier, 2016, p. 119). In other perspectives, it has been described as the physical growth and improvement and managerial functioning practices that fulfill the contemporary needs of the users without compromising the ability of the future age bracket or generations to meet their own needs. Therefore, sustainable activities must sustain the environment, human, and economic health and life. In general, it is the capacity to endure.
There are several global sustainability issues; however, in this context, food security will be given consideration as the major sustainability issue.
- One Important sustainability issue of global significance
Food security: It is a condition where all family members, every time, have access to sufficient food for an energetic and healthy life.
Food security and environmental sustainability are both major strategies in the current global arena. Several environmental elements have been implicated in food security. These elements include;
- Natural disasters such as drought and famines
Natural disasters such as drought and floods have detrimental effects on food production. In nations where agriculture contributes to a quarter of the GDP, there is the likelihood that when such disasters strike and last longer than expected, hunger will be experienced due to food shortage (Garnett, 2014, p. 13).
- Climate change- affects food supply and access as a result of the loss of farmland, fluctuating food prices, as well as other food, uses issues. The element aggravates the threats of food shortage
- Intense weather events
Weather change raises the occurrence and concentration of various issues such as droughts and downpour as well as rainstorm. The occurrence has disadvantage effect on the source of revenue and food security. Such disasters often have the prospective to cause destruction on harvest, significant road and rail network, and major society resources, consequently worsening sources of revenue and intensifying poverty (Chowdhury et al., 2017, p. 950).
- Long-standing and regular climate risks: Affects the volume and consistency of water accessible and adjust patterns of flood and drought.
- Soil degradation (Salinization through heavy rains, erosion, and soil pollution)
Productive land supports food security through constant food production. When there is degradation, the reduction or loss of economic productive or biological capacity is experienced on the land (Klomp & Hoogezand, 2018, p. 412). Degradation is caused by the human activities and worsened by the natural processes, and overblown by the effects of climate change and biodiversity hammering. Continuous land degradation over a given time and decrease of production in dry lands could result in a tremendous case of degradation or desertification (Bee, 2012, p. 127). Land degradation influences the importance of land which is frequently determined by its ability to offer goods, such as food, fuel, and fiber.
Factors Impacting Food Security
The social elements of food security are systems, issues or structures that support or influence the capacity of the contemporary and future cohorts to generate healthy and livable communities or society. Most social elements of food security as an issue of sustainability reflect casual processes, and they can vary broadly depending on time frame and other factors (Carty et al., 2017, p. 143). The three main critical social elements include;
- Levels of income in among the population within the society, wealth and distributional equity in various communities.
- Wider indicators of quality of life, for instance, working status or environment, job satisfaction and freedom to pursue lifestyle preferences
- Community health
All the elements mentioned above contributes to the lack of food, alleviating food insecurity is an indication of alleviating poverty. Lack of food or availability of food may be caused by social and cultural practices that maintain multiple concepts concerning how food should be categorized. The systems of groupings or categorization may, in turn, or invoked when making decisions regarding which food to be grown. Social elements constitute to processes that create sustainable, successful places that improve health, through comprehending what the population needs from the places they live and work (Figueiredo et al., 2016).
Economic elements are set of elementary information that influences food security or food production. Several elements should be taken into account when determining the current and anticipated prospect value of food production. The key economic elements include government policies, taxes, and management.
- Government policies: Food security is the main validation for all government participation in Agriculture. Plans subsidizing farm products costs and revenues are warranted as a means of alleviating prices at standards that will make sure and provide consumers with a steady and reasonable supply of food. On the other hand, the governments have also rolled out programs such as providing pesticides as well as animal health laws to ensure there is enough food for the citizens (Faivre et al., 2017, p. 511). The governments have also embarked on soil conservation and water quality supply programs to protect agricultural resources that are essential for long-term productivity. In other areas that always affected by the shortage, there are always government subsidies for improvement of innovations that promote agricultural activities as one of the ways of making food affordable and available for the population.
- Taxes: In various nations, most tax codes provide for exclusions, deferrals, credits, and deductions which decrease the number of tax revenues and are compared to government payments. On the other hand, the business policy may also affect food security depending on the connections with other policies and structural factors (Sharma, 2013, P. 298). For instance, a reduction on foodstuffs tariffs will have different effects depending on whether it is done unilaterally by solitary nation or due to joint contract. The impacts of such tax rates reduction may also differ depending on whether the reduction applies only to foodstuffs products or include other non-foodstuffs products and services. As a result, when evaluating the effect of tax as an economic element on food security, it is often important to apply general equilibrium. When tax rate for food importers goes up, it, therefore, means that the price rate of foodstuffs will definitely shoot; however, government’s policy or strategy will definitely be used to regulate the price and make food available for the population.
Labeling: Consumers have become more cognizant of the ethical effects and implications of the choices. For that reason, the food production has capitalized on the people’s concern by introducing labels that appeal to the ethical sensibilities. The purchasing decision can be influenced by the free range and cage free since these labels suggest production technology with less or no harmful effects, whether in consideration of animal welfare or environmental sustainability. Food security, therefore, tempts the consumers to replicate upon main ethical beliefs like human impartiality, justice between existing and future cohorts, reverence, and respect for human self-respect and sustainable food production.
We struggle to uphold our fundamental ethical convictions and participate in societal discussions concerning other significant principles (Yach, 2012, P. 312). As this is happening, we may need to adjust our ways of life and learn to create new priorities in the face of global responsibility.
Consumption pattern: Consumption pattern is a trend that needs to be checked. Over-reliant on a single type of food is not ethical. It has consequences such as causing malnutrition and secondly if in any case that food runs out of stock, it means that there will be an outcry for the shortage yet there are other options.
- Consumption pattern: Unitarianism as a normative ethical theory puts the locus of right and wrong exclusively on the effects of consumption pattern. As discussed in part 5, too much consumption of one type of food can cause malnutrition as an effect.
- Labeling: As the theory states that the best action or activity is the one that maximizes utility, in terms of health of conscious entities, labeling, in this case, has not been used for the benefit of the consumer but that of the producer simply to maximize on profit at the expense of the health of the consumers (Etmanski & Kajzer Mitchell, 2017, p. 41).
Food security as a sustainability issue affects a wide area of human life, from health to businesses. The effects can either be positive or negative; however, in this section, the concern is on the business especially threats and opportunities. Food security, for example, food shortage, poses a threat to the businesses. When there is scarcity, it means there will be nothing on shelves to sell to the consumers (Moseley & Watson, 2016, p. 124). The scarcity in this context comes with some severe consequences to the businesses such as shutdown due to insufficiency and loss of jobs by the shop attendants.
On the other hand, in most cases, it also comes with an advantage. Businesses minded individuals always capitalize on the situation and embark on the import business. Whenever there is a food shortage in any nations, governments always lower the tariffs for foodstuffs items. The merchant or importer involved in the import will definitely make a better profit on the situation.
Whenever there is a food shortage, businesses always tend to raise the prices of commodities even those were on the stock before the shortage rocked in, thus making double profit.
Increasing worldwide food security in the middle of climate change has increased. Therefore, the following sustainable, ethical solutions are recommended.
- Use of organic fertilizer on farming
Use of organic fertilizers is important and ethical since it has no negative impact on the soil. Agriculture has remained to the only source to food products, thus applying this friendly practice is recommended as one of the ways that can solve the shortage (Scialabba et al., 2010, p. 162).
- Adjusting low water productivity
Adjusting lower water productivity can be achieved through improving irrigation system and planting crops that use less water. Crops like such can do well in areas or even during low rainy seasons. Plants such as rice should, therefore, be replaced by other plants.
- Reducing food waste
Food wastage is at a high rate across the world. Most foods are wasted due to the insufficient and improper preparation and lack of storage facilities. Countries such as the United States are one of the culprits that experience food wastage, and the country needs agricultural land for more agricultural activities to compensate the wastage (Shanks & Harden, 2016, p. 518). Therefore, reducing food waste is a strategy that can help curb the issue of food security, not only in the United States but worldwide.
List of References
Rozier, G. (2016). 'Sustainability Policy: Hastening the Transition to a Cleaner Economy', Public Integrity, 18, 1, pp. 101-102, Academic Search Premier
Garnett, T. (2014). 'Three perspectives on sustainable food security: efficiency, demand restraint, food system transformation. What role for life cycle assessment?', Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 73, pp. 10-18.
Chowdhury, RB, Moore, GA, Weatherley, AJ, & Arora, M. (2017). 'Key sustainability challenges for the global phosphorus resource, their implications for global food security, and options for mitigation', Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 140, pp. 945-963.
Bee, B. (2012). 'Food security and global environmental change - Edited by John Ingram, Polly Ericksen and Diana Liverman', Area, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 126-127.
Scialabba, NE, & Müller-Lindenlauf, M. (2010). 'Organic agriculture and climate change', Renewable Agriculture & Food Systems, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 158-169.
Klomp, J, & Hoogezand, B. (2018). 'Natural disasters and agricultural protection: A panel data analysis', World Development, vol. 104, pp. 404-417.
Figueiredo Pereira de Faria, AC, Berchin, II, Garcia, J, Barbosa Back, SN, & Andrade Guerra, Jd. (2016). 'Understanding food security and international security links in the context of climate change', Third World Quarterly, vol. 37, no. 6, pp. 975-997.
Faivre, N, Fritz, M, Freitas, T, de Boissezon, B, & Vandewoestijne, S. (2017). 'Nature-Based Solutions in the EU: Innovating with nature to address social, economic and environmental challenges', Environmental Research, vol. 159, pp. 509-518.
Shanks, CB, & Harden, S. (2016). 'A Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance Evaluation of Weekend Backpack Food Assistance Programs', American Journal of Health Promotion, vol. 30, no. 7, pp. 511-520.
Carty, SA, Mainvil, LA, & Coveney, JD. (2017). 'Exploring family home food environments: Household resources needed to utilise weekly deliveries of free fruits and vegetables', Nutrition & Dietetics, vol. 74, no. 2, pp. 138-146.
Sharma, U. (2013). 'Food Policy for Developing Countries: The Role of Government in Global, National, and Local Food Systems', Australian Journal of Agricultural & Resource Economics, vol. 57, no. 2, pp. 298-300.
Yach, D. (2012). 'Food Politics: The Global View', Public Administration Review, vol. 72, no. 2, pp. 309-311.
Tadesse, T, Haile, M, Senay, G, Wardlow, BD, & Knutson, CL 2008, 'The need for integration of drought monitoring tools for proactive food security management in sub-Saharan Africa', Natural Resources Forum, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 265-279.
Moseley, WG, & Watson, NH (2016). 'Agriculture, Food Production, and Rural Land Use in Advanced Placement Human Geography', Journal of Geography, vol. 115, no. 3, pp. 118-124.
Etmanski, C, & Kajzer Mitchell, I. (2017). 'Adult Learning in Alternative Food Networks', New Directions for Adult & Continuing Education, vol. 2017, no. 153, pp. 41-52.
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