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Science, agriculture, and food security


This book examines the differing concepts of food security and the practicalities, policies, and resources that shape issues of food security. It begins with discussion of the nature of food security, its components, and related concepts such as self-sufficiency and global carrying capacity. It then reviews food consumption patterns in developed nations and developing regions, and discusses the complexities of determining what constitutes an adequate diet, taking into account recommended dietary allowances, variability in food composition, dietary balance and imbalance, diet and disease, nutrient deficiencies, intolerances, and food allergies. The book also reviews divergent concepts of sustainable agriculture, examining resources and policies that influence economically efficient and ecologically conservative food production and distribution. Soil and water management, genetic diversity, atmosphere and climate, energy in agriculture, government policies, and production systems are discussed as they relate to food security. Finally, the book reviews agricultural research, notably that conducted by members of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, research on agricultural pests and diseases, the need to improve post-production systems (including markets and transportation), food science research, and future requirements for human resources to ensure food security.