FOOD AND NUTRITIONAL SECURITY
“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” (World Food Summit, 1996)
In their 2012 report, the Committee for World Food Security defined nutritional security as “when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to food which is safe and consumed in sufficient quantity and quality to meet their dietary needs and food preferences, and is supported by an environment of adequate sanitation, health services and care, allowing for a healthy and active life”. Food per se is thus only one factor contributing to nutrition security.
Food is a critical element to not only sustaining life but ensuring a healthy and active lifestyle. However, it’s not that simple. Food and nutritional security, our ability to “be secure” in knowing that we have the food needed to carry out an active and healthy life can be driven and influenced by various factors and issues. Food and nutritional security include both food accessibility and availability which are challenges across the globe for many people. Influencing these challenges are political forces in some parts of the world, financial issues, lack nutritious food sources, lack of a diversity of nutritious food in some regions due to poor infrastructure (e.g., no grocery stores), natural disasters that contaminate food or halt food distribution, production, and processing in addition to many more reasons why nutritious and safe food is not available or accessible to many individuals and communities.
Tactical science programs within our network work to ensure that we have the resources, timely information, guidance and other tools necessary to produce nutritious food affordably and safely. Thus, the TSN minimizes risks to producers and the consumer public by, for example, assuring tools are available in the form of well tested pesticides and that those products are deployed through strategies that minimize their use to only when they are needed and that they are applied in the smartest and safest ways.