One of the challenges society faces is food security. Accordingly, food security includes food stability, access, and availability, which remains a global challenge, especially for the poor (Gustafson). People rely on agriculture, which is under threat from climatic changes and water shortages. Although efforts have been made to ensure that food is available, climate change remains a challenge that derails such efforts. Climate change, caused by population and popular culture, has rendered food unaffordable, unavailable, inaccessible, and hard to combat food shortage due to season unpredictability.
Population growth depletes the world resources and damages the ecosystem. The current world population is 7.7 billion. The high number has stretched the world’s resources, contributing to food insecurity. In fact, it would take approximately five times the earth’s present resources to feed the current global population (“Population Growth and Food Insecurity”). By 2050, food production should increase by 70% to meet the demands. Unfortunately, this booming population, which is competing for the same resources for food production and destroys the environment. With a degraded ecosystem, climatic change ensues, meaning that there will be less food for the surging population. Population growth presents a challenge, as many people will utilize the earth’s scarce resources and degrade the quality of the environment, resulting in acute food shortage.
Popular culture degrades the ecosystem. More than 3 billion humans have adopted westernized foods and lifestyle (Brown). In effect, more people are consuming grains and animal products. As the demand for these products rises, the likelihood of a shortage in supply and affordability increase. Equally, people are drawn to urbanization and industrialization. The lifestyle has yielded pollution and global warming, which result in climate change. In the long-term, there will be less land for farming, and the little that is available would not be that productive because environmental factors will not favor agriculture. Popular culture depletes resources and erodes the earth, which leads to food insecurity.
High food prices result from food scarcity. Climate change threatens the entire food production system from farming to distribution to consumption. With seasonal changes, low crop yields will be harvested, meaning that there will be little to distribute (Gould). Drought is perceived to have a long-term effect on crop supply which will cause high food prices. The high cost of food affects households, particularly the poor. According to Gustafson, low-income families spend more on food than the wealthy. Therefore, any changes in price, however slight, have devastating effects on their ability to access food. Notably, the poor also have an unbalanced diet because of the cost. Many buy generic and low-quality foods to cope because they are cheaper (Mkhawani et al.). In many instances, these food options have little nutritional value, but it is far better than being hungry. Climate change affects food prices, whose impact is mostly felt by the poor.
Similarly, climate change substantially contributes to the shortage of essential foods globally. Droughts limit food access and harm the growth of cereals and legumes (Wang et al.). Due to drought, important crops like legumes, which have increased in popularity as an alternative source of protein, has reduced. With drought in high-producing countries, the shortage does not affect the state but also the globe. Drought limits the export of these legumes to other parts of the world, meaning that there will be a limited supply for citizens of the foreign countries. Apart from legumes, staple foods such as cereals are declining in quantity because of the high temperatures. The quality of the crops also suffers from climatic change. Unfavorable climatic conditions, make it impossible for plants to enjoy the optimum conditions that would produce high-quality yields. Consequently, the crops are fewer and not as good and nutritious. Climate instability not only affects the plants but the strategies to combat food shortage.
Governments and individuals are unable to come up with reliable precautions in times of drought because the weather pattern is unpredictable. Governments, unsure of the extent of crop shortage do not provide enough funds to educational systems to combat food shortage (Masipa). Moreover, government reserves may lack an adequate supply of food to give people when drought periods take longer than expected. By comparison, people end up with less than what they anticipated because the rains my delay to fall or their pattern may affect crop growth. Climate change hinders proper response strategy to food shortage.
Correspondingly, water shortage inhibits food production. Agriculture heavily relies on rainwater and water bodies to grow crops and keep animals. However, dwindling water resources threaten agriculture. Due to climate change, water reserves in glaciers are melting, leaving rivers dry during the drought season. Glaciers serve a critical role in storing water and feeding rivers when there is little rainfall. Already, the glaciers of the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau have melted (Brown). Comparatively, the Indus, Ganges, and Yellow river basins lack water, yet these locations are prime agricultural lands. In effect, food production declined. Rainwater has also become unreliable because the quantity of rain required in agricultural areas hardly reaches the mark. Groundwater water sources, which people are now using for production are quickly disappearing because rainfall does not replenish them adequately. However, large volumes of water are used daily. Since the catchment areas are disappearing, it is likely that drought will ensue, leading to food shortage. Water shortage, caused by climatic change and agricultural practices, would result in food shortage.
Climate change is not so significant a threat to human existence or food security. Notably, the temperature increment is slightly higher than 1 degree on average (Nunez). Henceforth, it is unlikely that such a dismal change would cause such a significant effect on the environment and cause a global shortage. It is possible that climate change and food security, controversial political issues, are being exaggerated to shift the public focus on other causes of food insecurity like shifts in consumer needs. Climate change is not a challenge to food security.
Steady increase temperature increases in crucial water-catchment areas directly affect food availability. In Arctic areas, the reserves of water, temperatures have increased with over three degrees (Nunez). However slight the change, the glaciers have melted, resulting in water shortage in the dry season. Without water, agriculture is crippled, and so is food security. Climate change, however subtle, has significant effects on food production and subsequent safety.
Climate change, caused by population and popular culture, has rendered food unaffordable, unavailable, inaccessible, and hard to combat food shortage due to season unpredictability. Food prices, primarily affect the poor, who cannot afford decent meals. Similarly, climate change results in unpredictable patterns that impact the quality and quantity of food. It is also impossible to make contingency plans. Water, the backbone of agriculture, is unfortunately under threat. Food securities at the domestic, national, and global level are difficult to attain with the existing challenges.
“Population Growth and Food Insecurity.” Population Connection, 2019, www.populationconnection.org/article/population-growth-food-insecurity/. Accessed 17 Mar. 2019.
Brown, Lester. “Global Food Security: 10 Challenges.” The Globalist, 2013, www.theglobalist.com/global-food-security-10-challenges/. Accessed 17 Mar. 2019.
Daryanto Stefani, Lixin Wang, and Pierre Andre Jacinthe. “Global Synthesis of Drought Effects on Food Legume Production.” PLoS ONE 10(6), 2015, doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0127401. Accessed 17 Mar. 2019.
Gould, Brian. “How Food Prices Will Be Affected by Climate Change, an Interview with Dr. Brian Gould.” Foodtank, 2016, https://foodtank.com/news/2016/12/food-prices-will-affected-climate-change-interview-dr-brian-gould/Gustafson, Daniel J. “Rising food costs & global food security: key issues & relevance for India.” The Indian Journal of Medical Research vol. 138, no. 3, 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3818609/. Accessed 17 Mar. 2019.
Masipa, Tshepo. “The impact of climate change on food security in South Africa: Current realities and challenges ahead.” Journal of Disaster Risk Studies, 9 (1), 2017, https://jamba.org.za/index.php/jamba/article/view/411/712
Mkhawani, Khataza, Selekane A. Motadi, N. S. Mabapa, Xikombiso G. Mbhenyane, and Renne Blaauw. “Effects of rising food prices on household food security on femaleheaded households in Runnymede Village, Mopani District, South Africa.” South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition 29 (2), 2016, www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/16070658.2016.1216504. Accessed 17 Mar. 2019.
Nunez, Christina. “Cliamate 101: Causes and Effects.” National Geographic, 2019, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/global-warming-real/