October 23, 2016

On World Food Day, U.N. Warns of Ebola Food Crisis

Today is World Food Day. The U.N. said that the Ebola crisis in Africa is causing a food crisis. The U.N.'s World Food Program (WFP) needs to reach 1.3 million people in need of food in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, the hardest-hit regions in the outbreak. That agency has supplied more than half a million people in those areas with food. Denise Brown, WFP's Regional Director for West Africa said in a statement, "the world is mobilizing and we need to reach the smallest villages in the most remote locations. Indications are that things will only get worse before they improve. How much worse depends on us all." Border closures, market closures, and restricted travel threaten food access to many in the region. The WFP provides food to patients at Ebola treatment facilities and to … [Read more...]

U.N. Says Ebola Crisis Could Become Food Insecurity Crisis

The Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and other West African countries has made food expensive and hard to find. Labor shortages because of the outbreak are putting the harvest season at risk and trade is being disrupted, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. This has led to "panic buying" and food shortages. The harvest season in West Africa begins in September. There were positive crop production outlooks at the start of the season. Unfortunately, the areas with high incidences of the Ebola virus are among the most agriculturally productive areas of Liberia and Sierra Leone. The organization has issued a special alert on this situation. Bukar Tijana, FAO Regional Representative for Africa said in a statement, "Access to food … [Read more...]

Report Links Climate Change and Food Insecurity

A new report released by Center for Food Safety's Cool Foods Campaign states that food security is jeopardized by climate change. The report is called Food and Climate: Connecting the Dots, Choosing the Way Forward. Climate change creates extremes in weather, from temperatures that are much hotter and cooler than normal, and rain and snow amounts that are much lower or greater than normal. In 2012, for instance, droughts and heat waves affected 80% of agricultural land, causing $30 billion in damages. California is now experiencing its worst drought in its 153 year history. That state produces almost half of the country's fruits and vegetables. Food prices are expected to rise significantly this year as a result of this climate catastrophe. Climate change is also causing earlier … [Read more...]

USDA Report on Household Food Security in 2011

The USDA has just released its Economic Research Service (ERS) report summary on food security for 2011. The report looks at the number of Americans who are "food secure". The USDA monitors these conditions through an annual, nationally representative survey. Most households, 85.1%, were food secure throughout the year, meaning that they have "consistent, dependable access to enough food for active, healthy living."┬áIn the remaining 14.9% of households, residents are food insecure. Members of those households have difficulty providing enough food for all members for lack of resources. The change from the 2010 report was not statistically significant. But the number of households in the severe range of food insecurity increased to 5.7% from 5.4%, which is a statistically significant … [Read more...]

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