Trends in food security research

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A recent review of food security research, published in the scientific journal Land, highlights the growth of this field over the last 30 years, as well as the key global regions and topics that have been addressed.

Food security, the ability of people to reliably access sufficient food for a healthy life, is by no means guaranteed in all global regions. Disruptions to parts of the food system, such as natural disasters, climate change or disease outbreaks, are challenges to ensuring adequate food supply and nutrition to affected areas.

Surveying the existing scientific literature on food security, this review article found a dramatic increase in the number of publications since 2013. These publications were predominantly from developed European and North American nations, whereas the research focus was more often on developing areas of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Importantly, many developing countries in these regions have not produced research on food security, indicating a lack of research capacity where it is needed most.

The research directions encompassed by this review are diverse, from agriculture, environment and water through to food science, nutrition and public health. Article keywords often linked to food security include climate change, poverty and gender. Trends in food security research topics could be clearly identified over time.

Looking to the future, the authors recommend prioritisation of an interconnected and holistic view of food security. A complete view of the food system is needed to fully understand individual aspects within it.

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