By Joseph H. Hulse, National Research Council Canada
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Extra info for Science, agriculture, and food security
Famine", "starvation", "malnutrition", "hunger" and other descriptors of nutritional deficiencies tend to be used interchangeably and indiscriminately. "Security" derives from the Latin securus: "free from care". People who enjoy food security are free of the risks of chronic hunger, malnutrition, starvation or famine. Since these four nouns tend to be used synonymously it may be helpful to define each of them. Famine describes an extreme general scarcity of food among large populations. Starvation, derived from an Old English word, originally meant to die a slow lingering death, from cold, disease, from lack of food and/or water.
Adequate" in the Busch/Lacy sense refers to nutritional adequacy; the food available and accessible is nutritionally equal to collective and individual physiological need. The Human Development Index UNDP's 1993 Human Development Report states that security should be reinterpreted as security for people, not security for nations or land. It goes on to say that development must be woven around people, the purpose of development being to enlarge peoples choices (UNDP 1993). The Report again revises the criteria and parameters by which the Human Development Index (HDI) is defined.
NRC of a study of world nutrition is in broad agreement with the League of Nations (NRC/NAS 1977). It states: "An important cause of malnutrition is absence of policies and programs that foster the best use of available food supplies. In poor and rich countries alike, governments continually make decisions that affect nutritional status with little knowledge of nutritional consequences. " Reutlinger (1987) defined food security as "Access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life".
Science, agriculture, and food security by Joseph H. Hulse, National Research Council Canada