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Food security, food safety & healthy nutrition: are they compatible?
journal contributionposted on 2023-01-31, 03:46 authored by H Walls, Phillip BakerPhillip Baker, E Chirwa, B Hawkins
Food security, food safety, and healthy nutrition are key aspects of food systems with important implications for population health. Food safety addresses food-borne illness, and covers the handling, preparation and storage of food. Healthy nutrition is about the nutritional quality of diets. Food security encompasses both food safety and healthy nutrition, as well as a wider set of concerns related to food availability, access, utilization and stability. These three aspects of strong food systems are not only compatible, as important objectives and outcomes of food systems, but are complementary in principle, with important synergies existing between them in terms of their impact on population health outcomes. Yet tensions exist between food safety, healthy nutrition and the distinct aspects of food security. In practice, they are much less compatible, with political trade-offs between addressing them evident. This article critically assesses the compatibility of these concepts as a framework for achieving coherent food policy and global health.