Global Food Security Index: Did United States Take Number One?
Affordability, availability and quality and safety are the three categories that can significantly impact a country’s food security, according to a recently released study designed and constructed by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
During the 1996 World Food Summit, food security was defined as the state in which people at all times have physical, social and economic access to sufficient and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs for a healthy and active life.
Using this definition, the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) assessed the food supply of 105 countries. It is the first study to comprehensively examine food security, with the goal of assessing which countries are most and least vulnerable.
So where did the United States rank?
Overall, our nation’s food security ranked number one followed by Denmark and Norway. But the United States scored a 99.3 percent in the category of food quality and safety, placing third and coming in behind Israel and France’s perfect scores. This particular category comprised measurements of food safety, diet diversification, micronutrient availability and nutritional standards.
Within the sub-category focusing on food safety alone, the United States also scored a score of 99.3 percent, falling behind perfect scores set by 26 countries including the United Kingdom and Canada. This composite indicator, which measured the enabling environment for food safety, was calculated from sub-indicator scores based on the presence of an agency to ensure the safety and health of food, the percentage of population with access to potable water and the presence of a formal grocery sector.
While the United States scored perfect for its presence of food safety agencies and a formal grocery sector, it scored a 99 percent in the subcategory of potable water access.
It’s not surprising to see that the United States scored first in overall food security, but did you expect that our country would come in third behind Israel and France in the category of quality and food safety? What steps do you think the United States should take to enhance its food safety initiatives? Your comments are most welcome below.
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