Food Insecurity Lecture

By Ruochen You

I have attended a lecture held by Stephanie Godrich, who has been doing research on food insecurity in Australia. Defining Food Insecurity can be hard, but this lecture just inspired me a lot.

What does “food security” mean to you? Usually, we think of food security as access to secure food. The determinants of food insecurity vary…Food availability, food access, food utilization and social support are all components of food insecurity. From the presentation, we know that food insecurity in Australia was more serious than we thought but easier to cope with. From the previous study carried out by Stephanie’s team, 4% Australians living in a household are food insecure; nearly 30% of aboriginal adults worry about going without food; 25% of the sample received government social security. Since the data showed us the unexpectedly high number of people suffering from food insecurity, what can we do to help?

What is being done to address food insecurity in Australia by us? For government, they have set some dietary guidelines, developed food banking culture, and started private sector investment in agriculture; for civil society, they have set up some organisations to protect the right to Food Coalition made submission to have more comprehensive measurement tool included in 2023 census; for scholarly institution and universities, they have been doing researches on food insecurity and public reactions towards how to maintain safety in modern food system.

Most of the time we ignored the impact of social support in terms of food insecurity. We are social animals, which can not survive without the whole society. What would we usually choose to eat when with friends? Fast food? Junk food? Easy access seems a most important factor when choosing food with friends. What would we generally consume when we get social support from others while we are struggling for losing weight? Keeping moving on? Being encouraged to continue dieting? What would elder people do for socializing? Going grocery? Shopping in supermarket together with other elderly? If grocery shopping was viewed as a kind of socializing between elder people, do they buy more food that’s unnecessary? If so, how does that relate to food insecurity? Indeed, further researches should be focused on these areas in order to raise public awareness of food insecurity and better to develop a consensus on how to stay safe in our modern food system. Granary is etiquette, food security is the national security strategy. These questions have really reminded me of the epistemic food injustice, which means the knowledge of researchers might be more valuable compared to that of the citizens since citizens maybe not aware of the importance of food insecurity. To conclude, this lecture was really amazing and it has inspired me a lot, both in my awareness of food insecurity and my knowledge towards my study field.