The Feeding of Nations : Redefining Food Security for the 21st Century book cover
1st Edition

The Feeding of Nations
Redefining Food Security for the 21st Century

ISBN 9781138198517
Published October 19, 2016 by CRC Press
684 Pages 114 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In the last decade, the world has grown richer and produced more food than ever before. Yet in that same period, hunger has increased and 925 million remain underfed and malnourished. Exploring this troubling paradox, The Feeding of Nations: Re-Defining Food Security for the 21st Century offers a glimpse into how the simple aspiration of global food security has evolved and unfolded—with sometimes contradictory and counterproductive policies, agendas, and ideologies.

Providing a holistic analysis of the issues surrounding food security, this volume engages in a cross-disciplinary approach that makes the subject accessible to readers and academically rigorous in delivery. Topics discussed include:

  • A brief overview of our current understanding of the prevalence of hunger and malnutrition
  • Historical perspectives on the feeding of nations, to understand how we arrived at this point
  • Contemporary motivations that led to the creation of the modern concept of food security
  • The many different sectors related to food security, including agriculture, environment, and policy
  • The goals that society has set regarding food security, the means by which these are to be achieved, and current thoughts on solutions

The book contains a broad set of appendices that enable focused study on critical topics presented in the text. Uniquely amalgamating all the disparate elements of food security into one volume, it sets the record straight about the origins and evolution of the phenomenon while dispelling myths along the way.

Table of Contents

Food Security: What Is It, How and Who Does It Affect?
Food Security: What Is It?
Good Nutrition: A Basic Introduction
Bad ‘Mal’-nutrition: The Physiology of Hunger
Food Security: The Global Picture
History: A Fledgling Construct
Sociocultural Evolution
Governance, Philosophy, Politics and Economics
Science, Technology and Philosophy
History: Twentieth Century
Twentieth Century: The Feeding of Nations—A New Global Enthusiasm
The Inter-War Years 1919–1939
World War Two: 1939–1945
The Post-War Years
The Development Decade: 1960s
Famine, Oil and the Food Crisis: 1970s
The Lost Development Decade: 1980s
The Era of the Conference: 1990s
The Twenty-First Century: Ideological Convergence?
A Sectoral Analysis: Food Security and…
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Science and Technology
Health and Nutrition
Environment and Natural Resources
Governance, Politics and Economics
The Final Analysis—Food Security
Origins: Aetiology and Etymology—Dispelling the Myths
Causality and Future Research
Redefining Food Security
Food for Thought: Discussion and Considerations
Closing Remarks
Appendix A: Country Classifications
Appendix B: Mortality Categories
Appendix C: The Gibson Framework of Food Security
Appendix D: Metabolism
Appendix E: Micronutrients
Appendix F: Malnutrition—Its Assessment and Measurement
Appendix G: Biological Systematics
Appendix H: Millennium Development Goals
Appendix I: Global Warming—The Basics
Appendix J: Energy Sources
Appendix K: Stakeholders
Appendix L: Conversion Rates
Appendix M: Glossary

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Mark Gibson has always taken an interest in the way food has been approached, not just locally but also in the global context. There has been an elemental desire to understand more of the social, political and economic tectonics of food culture, particularly in relation to issues of food security. After training in the culinary arts, Mark remained in the industry for two decades before finally stepping into the academic world. He now lectures on many aspects related to food culture from governance to sustainability issues as well as keeping his hand in the kitchen. After completing his PhD on food security, Mark undertook to share his knowledge in the present book.


"Undoubtedly, the consolidation of so much information on the topic in a single volume will be much appreciated by those grappling with this timely issue."
—D. M Gilbert, Maine Maritime Academy, in Choice

"I would wholeheartedly recommend this book as a reference source to anyone involved with, or interested in, food security. It is both succinct and well referenced."
Chemistry World, September 2012