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Food Security Through The Irish Potato Famine

2281 words - 9 pages

By 1840, potatoes were a diet staple for the people who lived across seas in Ireland. Potatoes were basically the only food that the rural poor population consumed for all of their meals. However, the potato was also a staple in the diets of the middle class and upper class citizens even though they could afford more expensive foods. In 1845, the population of Ireland expected to have a favorable potato crop. However, when the farmers dug up the expected crop that year, they were faced with a black, liquid mess. This lead to a 50% loss in potatoes and each family had to fend for themselves and harvest however many potatoes they needed. The potato crops increasingly worsened from 1845 to 1847. Three years of bad potato crops devastated the country of Ireland in more ways than one. What we know it as today as the Irish Potato Famine caused many health and economic problems for the citizens of Ireland. Between 1846 and 1850, Ireland’s population dramatically decreased by two million people. Out of these two million people, around one million died of starvation and diseases associated with the famine. The other million migrated to other parts of the world, in hopes to give their family a better life. Though extreme, this famine is one of the most famous examples of food insecurity in the world. After events like this, it is apparent that all countries, including the United States, should take food security very seriously.
As defined by the World Health Organization, food security is defined as “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.” This concept of food security also includes both physical and economic access to food that satisfies the dietary needs and preferences of an individual. This means that food consumers are getting the nutrients they need to live a healthy life and also that food producers are able to making a living. Across the world, the goals of food security are built upon three pillars: availability, access, and usage. Availability refers to individuals regularly having adequate amounts of food. Access refers to an individual’s ability to obtain food that fulfills the nutrients they need. Usage refers to the appropriate use of foods based on nutrition and care. Usage also refers to food sanitation and clean water usage. There are still issues with food security today. For one, many people believe that there is enough food to feed everyone on Earth; what our real problem is is distributing the food properly. Another issue that is faced concerning food security is that many people believe that current levels of food production will not be able to keep up with the ever growing world population.
Food security is such an important concept in all countries because food and nutrition are vital to life. Different populations and different types of people have various dietary needs and without these certain foods, their health could be at stake. Food security is...

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