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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Sharon Zivkovic

This paper aims to question the utility of addressing food insecurity through food assistance programmes and by separating food security into pillars, and it argues for a…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to question the utility of addressing food insecurity through food assistance programmes and by separating food security into pillars, and it argues for a systemic innovation and complexity approach. This is achieved by demonstrating that food insecurity is a wicked problem and therefore needs to be addressed holistically.

Design/methodology/approach

To establish that food insecurity is a wicked problem, characteristics of food insecurity are aligned to characteristics of wicked problems. The need to address wicked problems holistically through a systemic innovation approach and an understanding of complexity theory is discussed by referring to the literature. How to take such an approach for addressing food insecurity is illustrated by describing the use of an online tool that takes a systemic innovation and complexity approach.

Findings

Given food insecurity is a wicked problem and needs to be addressed holistically, the focus when addressing food insecurity should not be on programmes or pillars. Instead, it needs to be on increasing the coherence and building the adaptive capacity of food insecurity solution ecosystems.

Practical implications

This paper provides insights into the nature of food insecurity and how to address food insecurity.

Originality/value

For the first time, this paper aligns characteristics of food insecurity to characteristics of wicked problems and demonstrates how an online tool for systemic innovation can assist food insecurity solution ecosystems to address food insecurity.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2018

Augustine Ujunwa, Chinwe Okoyeuzu and Ebere Ume Kalu

West Africa represents a very good case of a sub-region currently plagued with the problem of food insecurity. Traditional theories have attributed the increasing food

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Abstract

Purpose

West Africa represents a very good case of a sub-region currently plagued with the problem of food insecurity. Traditional theories have attributed the increasing food insecurity in the region to problems of poor governance, corruption and climate change. In view of the persistent and increasing nature of armed conflict in the sub-region, the purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of increasing armed conflict on food security in Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilized the dynamic generalized method of moments (GMM) to investigate the effect of conflict intensity on food security in the 14 member states of the ECOWAS using annualized panel data from 2005 to 2015.

Findings

The findings reveal that armed conflict is a significant predictor of food security in West Africa.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of the study bring to fore, the urgent need to rethink global initiative for combating food insecurity. The effort must also identify the causes of armed conflicts and design sound strategies for de-escalating the armed conflicts. Resolving the escalating armed conflict entails developing a conflict resolution framework that is extremely sensitive to the causes of conflict in Africa and adopting localized ex ante institutional diagnostics that would help in understanding the nature of the conflicts.

Originality/value

Traditional theory perceives climate change, social injustices, property right, food insecurity, religious extremism and bad governance as the predictors of armed conflicts. In this study, the authors departed from the traditional theory by demonstrating that the nature and trend of armed conflict could also pose a serious threat to food security.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 46 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2018

Sarah Dawn Lee, Mahitab Hanbazaza, Geoff D.C. Ball, Anna Farmer, Katerina Maximova and Noreen D. Willows

The purpose of this paper is to conduct a narrative review of the food insecurity literature pertaining to university and college students studying in Very High Human…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to conduct a narrative review of the food insecurity literature pertaining to university and college students studying in Very High Human Development Index countries. It aims to document food insecurity prevalence, risk factors for and consequences of food insecurity and food insecurity coping strategies among students.

Design/methodology/approach

English articles published between January 2000 and November 2017 were identified using electronic databases. Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies assessed the study quality of quantitative research.

Findings

A total of 37 quantitative, three mixed-methods and three qualitative studies were included from 80,914 students from the USA (n=30 studies), Australia (n=4), Canada (n=8) and Poland (n=1). Prevalence estimates of food insecurity were 9–89 percent. All quantitative studies were rated weak based on the quality assessment. Risk factors for food insecurity included being low income, living away from home or being an ethnic minority. Negative consequences of food insecurity were reported, including reduced academic performance and poor diet quality. Strategies to mitigate food insecurity were numerous, including accessing food charities, buying cheaper food and borrowing resources from friends or relatives.

Research limitations/implications

Given the heterogeneity across studies, a precise estimate of the prevalence of food insecurity in postsecondary students is unknown.

Practical implications

For many students studying in wealthy countries, obtaining a postsecondary education might mean enduring years of food insecurity and consequently, suffering a range of negative academic, nutritional and health outcomes. There is a need to quantify the magnitude of food insecurity in postsecondary students, to inform the development, implementation and evaluation of strategies to reduce the impact of food insecurity on campus.

Originality/value

This review brings together the existing literature on food insecurity among postsecondary students studying in wealthy countries to allow a better understanding of the condition in this understudied group.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 120 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2015

Donna Mitchell, Darren Hudson, Riley Post, Patrick Bell and Ryan B. Williams

The objective of this chapter is to discuss the pathways between climate, water, food, and conflict. Areas that are exhibiting food insecurity or have the potential to be…

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this chapter is to discuss the pathways between climate, water, food, and conflict. Areas that are exhibiting food insecurity or have the potential to be food insecure are typically located in areas that experience poverty and government corruption. Higher rates of conflict occur in areas with lower caloric intake and poor nutrition.

Methodology/approach

We identify key pathways between these variables and discuss intervening factors and compound effects.

Findings

The pathways between water, food security, and conflict are complicated and are influenced by many intervening factors. A critical examination of the literature and an in-depth analysis of the reasons for conflict suggest that food insecurity is a multiplier, or facilitator, of the opportunities for and benefits from conflict.

Practical implications

To most effectively reduce the risks of conflict, policies must adequately and simultaneously address each of the four dimensions of food security – availability, stability, utilization, and access. Careful attention to alleviating food insecurity will help alleviate some of the underlying rationale for conflict.

Details

Food Security in an Uncertain World
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-213-9

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2015

David Magaña-Lemus and Jorge Lara-Álvarez

Food security is an essential measure of welfare, especially for low-income families in developing countries. Policy makers should be aware of the harm food insecurity has…

Abstract

Purpose

Food security is an essential measure of welfare, especially for low-income families in developing countries. Policy makers should be aware of the harm food insecurity has on vulnerable households. This chapter empirically addresses the problems of measuring and monitoring food security in Mexico.

Methodology/approach

We identify the macro and micro approaches for measuring food security. The macro approach uses variables at the country level. Usually, this information is available on a yearly basis, is easy to implement, and can be compared across countries. The micro approach uses household questionnaires to collect food security information. Our analysis suggests that a macro approach will not be as precise as the micro approach due to inequality (agroclimatic, social, and economic).

Findings

Empirical experience suggests that food insecurity and its severity can be captured at the household level using the Food Insecurity Experiences Questionnaire. This questionnaire allows us to calculate food security measurements that closely follow the food security definition.

Originality/value

From a public policy perspective, the different methodologies for measurement do not consider all the dimensions of food security as defined by the term. This chapter examines which approach provides the best measurement of food security.

Details

Food Security in an Uncertain World
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-213-9

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 31 July 2018

Meike Rombach, Vera Bitsch, Eunkyung Kang and Francesco Ricchieri

The purpose of this paper is to investigate food bank actors’ knowledge of food insecurity in Germany and in Italy, as well as interactions between food bank actors and…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate food bank actors’ knowledge of food insecurity in Germany and in Italy, as well as interactions between food bank actors and food bank users. The study builds on a knowledge framework from an educational context and applies it to food banks.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a qualitative research approach. In all, 22 in-depth interviews were recorded, transcribed and analyzed through inductive qualitative content analysis.

Findings

German and Italian food bank actors interviewed had at least situational knowledge on food insecurity. Some actors of the Italian food bank also showed procedural knowledge. Interactions between food bank personnel and users were affected by feelings of gratitude, shame, anger and disappointment.

Originality/value

The study explores food bank personnel’s knowledge on food insecurity, which appears to be a knowledge gap, even though many prior studies were dedicated to food banks and food insecurity. The study contributes to knowledge systematization to provide best practice recommendations for volunteer-user interaction, and suggests how food bank managers and volunteers’ knowledge can be improved.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 120 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Book part
Publication date: 15 July 2017

John C. Beghin and Yalem Teshome

Food security was investigated in three villages in rural Ethiopia for smallholder farmers growing staple crops and coffee. Field surveys were conducted through extensive…

Abstract

Food security was investigated in three villages in rural Ethiopia for smallholder farmers growing staple crops and coffee. Field surveys were conducted through extensive interviews of head of households in three villages in the coffee-growing region of Oromia. We computed basic descriptive statistics and estimated a discrete variable model of the food security status of households and its socioeconomic determinants. We found that commercial input used among smallholders remains sporadic and pricey. Most households produce coffee as a key source of cash income, and rely on a major coffee cooperative to market their coffee. The coffee cooperative helps with transportation costs, eases market participation decisions, and provides better and stable prices. Many farmers rely on credit and banking services offered by the cooperative. These services contribute to food security. Most food-insecure households tend to be headed by females and have severe land constraints. These households also tend to work outside of their own farm more often at lower-return activities than do food-secure households. Despite the fast growing economy of Ethiopia, smallholder households face considerable impediments to improve their economic livelihoods and market participation due to limited land and poor transportation and telecommunications infrastructures. Policies lowering the unit cost and increasing the local availability of commercial inputs for agriculture would be useful to boost staple food production and income generation of smallholders systematically. Better infrastructures and easier access to land would help mitigate food insecurity.

Details

World Agricultural Resources and Food Security
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-515-3

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Article
Publication date: 17 May 2019

Brenda Abu and Wilna Oldewage-Theron

Food insecurity is an evolving nutrition issue affecting both developed and underdeveloped college campuses. The purpose of this paper is to assess food insecurity and…

Abstract

Purpose

Food insecurity is an evolving nutrition issue affecting both developed and underdeveloped college campuses. The purpose of this paper is to assess food insecurity and related coping strategies among Texas Tech University students.

Design/methodology/approach

This was a cross-sectional online survey in Lubbock, Texas, among college students (n=173). The outcome measures, socio-demographic factors, household food insecurity access) and dietary diversity were assessed using validated tools. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS software. Socio-demographic differences in food security status were examined using χ2, and means testing. Risks of student food insecurity were assessed using odds ratios (ORs).

Findings

Respondents were mostly female (70 percent), non-Hispanic white (58 percent) and young adults’ (median age: 22.0 (20.0, 27.0)), with a median monthly income of $1,000 (0.0, 1,500) and spent about a fifth of their income on food. More students were food insecure (59.5 percent) compared to those who experienced food security (40.5 percent) (p<0.001). Some of the severe food insecure students (16.7 percent) reported going to bed without food (6.9 percent) in the prior 30 days. Students with monthly food budgets of ⩽ $200 were 3.2 times more likely to be food insecure (OR=3.231: CI: 1.353–7.714; p=0.010) compared to those with higher food budgets. A students’ choice of priority monthly expenses was significantly associated with food security status; however, further risk assessment of dichotomous “prioritized food” and “prioritized other expenses” was not statistically significant.

Originality/value

Student’s food budget of $200 was the strongest determinant of food insecurity. Individual training on money management and meal planning are recommended. University policies should recognize and develop academic support policies addressing competing expenses with food.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 121 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2019

Kingsley Purdam, Aneez Esmail and Elisabeth Garratt

The purpose of this paper is to present findings from research into food insecurity amongst older people aged 50 years and older in the UK.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present findings from research into food insecurity amongst older people aged 50 years and older in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses secondary analysis of national-level survey data and semi-structured interviews with older people receiving emergency food from foodbanks.

Findings

There is a forgotten care gap in the UK where a substantial number of older people are living in food insecurity. Many older people live alone and in poverty, and increasing numbers are constrained in their spending on food and are skipping meals. Food insecurity amongst older people can be hidden. Within families a number of older people were trying to ensure that their children and grandchildren had enough to eat, but were reluctant to ask for help themselves.

Research limitations/implications

The broad categorisation of older people aged 50 and above comprises people in very different circumstances. The qualitative component of the research was undertaken across various sites in a single city in England. Despite these limitations, the analysis provides important insights into the experiences of the many older people enduring food insecurity.

Practical implications

An increased public and professional awareness of food insecurity amongst older people is needed. Increased routine screening for under-nutrition risk is a priority. Policy initiatives are needed that are multifaceted and which support older people across a range of age groups, particularly those living alone.

Social implications

Food insecurity amongst older people in the UK raises questions about the present policy approach and the responsibilities of the government.

Originality/value

The research provides important new insights into the experiences of the many older people experiencing food insecurity in the UK by drawing on survey data and interviews with older people using foodbanks.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 121 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2015

Sylvain Charlebois, Julia Christensen Hughes and Sebastian Hielm

– The purpose of this paper is to discuss how corporate philanthropy influences channel behaviour in the context of food security.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how corporate philanthropy influences channel behaviour in the context of food security.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors chose an exploratory case-study design to guide the investigation, based on Yin’s (1994) argument that case studies are the preferred strategy when “how” or “why” questions are being posed, and when the focus is on a modern phenomenon within a real-life context. A survey study was focused on formal interviews onsite where product development and marketing occurred.

Findings

It is known that the concepts of power and dependency are central to channel relationships. In food distribution, it has been argued that food distributors hold more power than food processors due to end-user proximity (Ruyter et al., 1996). For corporate altruism acts to have an impact when generated by functions other than distribution and retailing, one can only argue that channel members would require a significant number of antecedents to be successful. In Campbell’s case, as shown in Table I, many became enabling to a successful outcome while others arguably made the project more challenging.

Research limitations/implications

With food security, the authors would need to consider other relationships within the marketing channel. The macro-environment of the marketing channel could also be incorporated in a future study. This study also does not compare other campaigns related to a similar product. In fact, it is believed that Nourish is unique in that it is the first ready-to-eat, ready-to-ship food product which was developed with the intent to serve the greater good.

Practical implications

Philanthropic acts by one company can influence other channel members when intent is driven by clear altruistic and politically strategic motives, and reflects individualistic and paternalistic attitudes. Campbell’s was paternalistic but attempted to serve many causes at once. Committing to only one cause in the future may help consolidate resources and corporate energy around one single cause.

Social implications

Corporate philanthropy describes the action when a corporation voluntarily donates a portion of its resources to a societal cause. Nourish’s case is different in that it is not just a linear transactional gift between a corporation and an organization actively involved in the cause. The project relies on the active participation of other channel members, including consumers, to support the campaign led by Campbell’s. It was a form of an extendable altruistic venture which allowed all channel members to contribute to the cause.

Originality/value

Food processors that want to address the issue of food security or any other societal causes, domestically or abroad, will not cease. The challenge for food processors lies in the functional nature of their role within marketing channels. Since they do not transact with consumers directly, they depend on distributors and retailers to relay their philanthropic convictions to consumers. Based on the Nourish case, this study set out a series of antecedents which would support similar initiatives.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 117 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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