Food Security

A far greater threat comes from increasingly insecure food sources (a lack of consistent and affordable food staples) arising from adverse weather (drought and floods) and war. During the late 1900s, famine became increasingly frequent in Africa. In addition, a new threat to the food supply emerged due to the worsening HIV/AIDS epidemic. As adults fall ill and die, agricultural production declines. Rural communities are the hardest hit, and women are particularly at risk given their unique physiologic needs tied to their roles as mothers, as well as their vulnerability due to lower economic and social status.

With its immense population, resources, and growing population, Africa is a continent that struggles to keep its people and cultures healthy. African history, the proliferation of foods and spices across the land, and the preservation of land that can still be farmed, will continue to be important. Weather, geography, politics, culture, and religion are forces that have caused strife within Africa for centuries, and will continue to do so. A land that was once pure and fertile can only be restored through land preservation and food availability. see also African Americans, Diet of; Caribbean Islanders, Diet of.

Jens Levy M. Cristina F. Garces


Carr, Marilyn, ed. (1991). Women and Food Security: The Experience of the SADCC Countries. London: IT Publications.

Eles, Dale, and Fitzpatrick, Mary. (2000). Lonely Planet West Africa. Singapore: Lonely Planet.

Finlay, Hugh (2000). Lonely Planet East Africa. Singapore: Lonely Planet.

Fiple, Kenneth F., and Ornelas, Kriemhil Conee, eds. (2000). The Cambridge World History of Food, Volumes 1 and 2. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Harris, Jessica B. (1998). The Africa Cookbook: Tastes of a Continent. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Lentz, Carola, ed. (1999). Changing Food Habits: Case Studies from Africa, South America, and Europe. Sydney, Australia: Harwood Academic Publishers.

Von Braun, Joachim; Teklue, Tesfaye; and Webb, Patrick (1999). Famine in Africa: Causes, Responses, and Prevention. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

calorie: unit of food energy vitamin: necessary complex nutrient used to aid enzymes or other metabolic processes in the cell mineral: an inorganic (non-carbon-containing) element, ion, or compound micronutrient: nutrient needed in very small quantities anemia: low level of red blood cells in the blood famine: extended period of food shortage

Internet Resource

Haslwimmer, Martina (1996). "AIDS and Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa." Available from <>

socioeconomic status: level of income and social class diet: the total daily food intake, or the types of foods eaten

Dietary Reference Intakes: set of guidelines for nutrient intake nutrient: dietary substance necessary for health

Recommended Dietary Allowances:

nutrient intake recommended to promote health calorie: unit of food energy vitamin: necessary complex nutrient used to aid enzymes or other metabolic processes in the cell calcium: mineral essential for bones and teeth

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