Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 05/2009

Food Security: Vulnerability Despite Abundance

Marc Cohen

July 2007

International Peace Institute


Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.1 It has three facets: food availability, access to food, and food utilization. The last aspect refers to proper use of food, including adequate nutrition knowledge and practices.The reference to food preferences acknowledges that in extreme circumstances, people may eat otherwise unacceptable foods; however, such circumstances do not represent food security.