Food security: Starvation in the midst of plenty

Document Type


Publication Date



Copyright © 2015 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved. Purpose - The purpose of this analysis is to determine the impact of various factors, including population growth, income growth, and research and development on food security. This chapter also seeks to better understand the role of relative food prices in consumers' selection of foods to meet their nutritional needs. Methodology/approach - We utilize a welfare economic framework to provide a theoretical examination of the impact of various factors (including income growth, population growth, and research and development) on food security among the poor. A minimum nutritional diet is specified as a baseline for the evaluation of these scenarios. Findings - Scenarios show the impacts that income, population growth, and research and development have on food security through their price and quantity impacts. Also, we highlight the difficulty in formulating an optimal diet that meets the recommended dietary requirements for only calories and protein, as different foods contain calories, proteins, and micronutrients in differing proportions. This indicates that changes in relative food prices will often alter consumers' nutrient intake with respect to the minimum nutritional diet. Social implications - Research and development is critical in guaranteeing food availability. Trade-based, production-based, and own-labor entitlements are key factors in determining food security. Consumption subsidies and income supplements can be used to assist those who do not have entitlements sufficient to meet their minimum nutritional diet.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Frontiers of Economics and Globalization

First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.