The inter-connected challenges for food security from a food regimes perspective: Energy, climate and malconsumption

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Sage, Colin
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Recent experience of food price volatility in global markets encourages closer examination of the dynamics underlying the global food system and reveals a range of contingent factors. Meanwhile a common thread of many recent expert reports has emphasised the need to intensify agricultural production to double food output by 2050. Drawing upon a food regimes approach, the paper argues that the global food system is vulnerable to three inter-connected challenges that make a largely productivist strategy inappropriate. Analysis suggests that there is a strong likelihood of rising energy costs given the anticipated decline in conventional oil supplies which will have repercussions for land-use and food security. Climate change scenarios anticipate rates of warming and drying in large areas of the tropics that will also have huge implications for food security in those areas. Yet the mode of operation of the global food system is to deliver poor quality nutrition with significant dietary health consequences, a phenomenon labelled malconsumption. The paper argues that these issues are closely inter-related and until we address the fact that the global food system remains dominated by powerful economic interests, an effective solution will remain elusive.
Vulnerability , Food regimes , Energy security , Climate change , Malconsumption
Sage, C (2013) 'The inter-connected challenges for food security from a food regimes perspective: Energy, climate and malconsumption'. Journal of Rural Studies, 29 (1):71-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2012.02.005
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Rural Studies. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Rural Studies, [Volume 29, January 2013, Pages 71–80] DOI: