Definitions of Food Security

The term food security originated in international development literature in the 1960s and 1970s. Public interest in global and domestic food security grew rapidly following the world oil crisis and related food crisis of 1972-74. With the African famine of 1984-85, the increase in numbers of people looking for food assistance in developed nations, as reported by churches, community centres and soup kitchens, and the growing numbers of food banks in the United States (U.S.) and Canada, the literature on food security grew rapidly. Over time a large number of different definitions have been proposed. There are approximately 200 definitions and 450 indicators of food security (Hoddinott, 1999). Maxwell and Frankenberger’s (1992) report lists 194 different studies on the concept and definition of food security and 172 studies on indicators.

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