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Global Food Security: Addressing the Challenge

Lancaster University via FutureLearn

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Overview

In this course, we introduce the issue of food security and explore some of the different ways in which it has been described both in research and in practice and consider key concerns for the future.

Our central concern is ‘How we will feed an extra two billion people by the middle of this century?’ Focussing both on UK agriculture and on food supply chains in other parts of the world, we will examine how food has shaped our environmental and social landscapes. We will see that, while everyone would agree that food security is ‘a good thing’, ideas about what it means in practice and how it should be achieved vary tremendously.

Proposed developments to address global food insecurity range from technological inventions in the efficacy of large-scale agriculture through social and cultural innovations in local food production and consumption. You’ll be exploring a number of topics that address many issues including:

  • Is food security really just about food?
  • Should we have concerns about health, social justice, environmental degradation and cultural diversity?
  • What is the role of technology and innovation in promoting food security?

And much more.

In the final week we explore the big picture by considering food systems and food chains as a whole. Using examples from some of the case studies that we’ve explored, we consider the relationships between production and consumption and question whether particular kinds of agriculture are linked to particular diets and patterns of consumption.

We will explore the role of the retailer and the consumer in more detail as we ask what it means to enjoy a safe, healthy, sustainable diet. We also consider the issue of food poverty and how this fits within the food security debate.

You can use the hashtag #FLfoodsecurity to join and contribute to Twitter conversations about this course.

Professor Bill Davies has written a blog post about the course in which he argues that we need a new “Green Revolution” if we’re going to feed the world’s growing population.

There are no requirements for this course except an interest in global food security

Taught by

William Davies

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