D. Food and Nutrition

2. Food Security

Food security is defined as the point when all people at all times have both physical and economic access to sufficient food to meet their dietary needs for a productive and healthy life. Three distinct variables are central to the attainment of food security: availability, access, and utilization.

Food availability is achieved when sufficient quantities of food are consistently available to all individuals within a country. Such food can be supplied through household production, other domestic output, commercial imports, or food assistance.

Food access is ensured when households and all individuals within them have adequate resources to obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet. Access depends on income available to the household, the distribution of income within the household, and the price of food.

Food utilization is the proper biological use of food, requiring a diet providing sufficient energy and essential nutrients, potable water, adequate sanitation, and good health. Effective food utilization depends in large measure on knowledge within the household of food storage and processing techniques, basic principles of nutrition, and proper child care.


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Last updated: March 30, 2006