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Food Security

Guide for resources dealing with food security around the world.


Welcome to the library guide to food security!

In this guide you will find a variety of resources encompassing a broad range of issues related to food security, such as natural science, health, economics, governance, and social science. Some resources will need to be accessed through the University Library's subscriptions. If you are not on campus, you might need to log in or go to the following page to see all that the library has to offer: 

“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” (World Food Summit, 1996)

The dimensions of food security include: 

  • Food availability: The availability of sufficient quantities of food of appropriate quality
  • Food access: Access by individuals to adequate resources (entitlements) for acquiring appropriate foods for a nutritious diet. Entitlements are defined as the set of all commodity bundles over which a person can establish command given the legal, political, economic and social arrangements of the community in which they live (including traditional rights such as access to common resources). 
  • Utilization:  Utilization of food through adequate diet, clean water, sanitation and health care to reach a state of nutritional well-being where all physiological needs are met. This brings out the importance of non-food inputs in food security. 
  • Stability: To be food secure, a population, household or individual must have access to adequate food at all times. They should not risk losing access to food as a consequence of sudden shocks (e.g. an economic or climatic crisis) or cyclical events (e.g. seasonal food insecurity). The concept of stability can therefore refer to both the availability and access dimensions of food security. 

(FAO 2006,

"Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems." (La Via Campesina) 

The pillars of food sovereignty are: 

  • Food for people centered in policies, over being a commodity. 
  • Building knowledge and skills
  • Working with nature 
  • Valuing food providers 
  • Localizing food systems 
  • Instilling local control 
  • Recognizing food as sacred 

(From Food Secure Canada)