Fundamental change in the way we manage our food systems is urgently needed to address the ongoing tragedy of world hunger. Over the coming decades, climate change, a growing global population, rising food prices, and environmental stressors will have significant impacts on food security.
British supermarkets are imposing limits on how many salad staples shoppers can buy as supply shortages leave shelves empty of some types of fruit and vegetables. The disappearance of fresh produce is said to be largely the result of adverse weather leading to a reduced harvest in southern Europe and North Africa.
Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, the closely watched food price index of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reached its highest recorded level, stoking consumer prices across the world. In the UK, for example, the prices of many everyday items increased way ahead of inflation, with bread and eggs both up 18% in the year to December, and milk up 30%.
“Control oil, and you control nations; control food and you control people.” This aphorism, often attributed to Henry Kissinger, recently came to mind when I saw first hand how both strategies have been effectively deployed in Israel’s occupation and blockade of Gaza.
Growing numbers of Australians are reported to be struggling to put enough healthy food on the table every day as the cost of living soars. But Australia doesn’t collect enough data on food insecurity. The lack of data makes it difficult for policymakers to grasp the extent of the problem, let alone take effective action to solve it.