001 - Solutions to Food Insecurity

Geographic Knowledge and Understanding

Possible solutions to food insecurity, including waste reduction.


The process of waste reduction can create possibilities to improve food security at different scales.


  • To have knowledge and understanding of at least three possible solutions to food insecurity.
  • To develop your depth of knowledge and understanding to be able to use the solutions as a case study in an extended response question.

Case Study

One case study of attempts to tackle food insecurity.

Key Terminology

            • No new terms will be used in this lesson.

Activity One - Describe

We waste around one third of the food that we produce each year. We reject food by how it looks and that happens at all stages of the food chain from when the food is picked to what you choose when you hit the supermarket. Not only that we automatically throw away food that is past its sell by date. We have become conditioned to look at the dates and believe that if it is beyond that date and we ate we may get sick. But actually they are manufacturing sell by dates and it is their best guess when that item may go off.

      1. Let's see what what France and the UK do with their food - watch the YouTube clip below.
      2. Read the first article in the 'Useful Resources' and write down five key facts about food waste.
      3. Using the textbook 'Our Planet's Food and Health' by Codrington write notes on the different solutions to food waste. Use the following headings:
              • Economic Solutions
                    • Microfinance
                    • Crops for Human Consumption (not animals)
                    • Grow Food Crops (not cash crops)
              • Management Solutions
                    • Crop substitution
                    • Raising Farm Productivity - education, female farmers, fertilisers, low technology techniques
                    • Expand commercialism
              • Political Solutions
                    • Food Aid
                    • Free Trade
                    • Fair Trade
                    • Land Reform
                    • Planning
                    • Peace
              • Climate Change
              • Technological Solutions
                    • Irrigation
                    • Transport
                    • Mechanisation
                    • Infrastructure

Activity Two - USA - National (State) Scale

It is a common misconception that if we donate food to charity and someone becomes ill from what they have eaten we will get sued, but that is not true. 100 billion pounds of food are thrown away in the USA every year and 40% of that is still edible. Yet 16 million children are foo insecure. The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act is a federal law that is aimed at 'encouraging the donation of food and grocery products to nonprofit organisations for distribution to needy individuals'.

      1. Create a detailed example of how Texas are encouraging its restaurants to be more sustainable with their food waste.
      2. Read the second article and write down how legislation is trying to support the reduction of food waste in the USA.

Activity Three - UK - Local Scale

In London people waste on average £230 per person per year. This amounts to approximately 19 million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. So what is London doing about it? The schemes are much more on the local scale from individual campaigns to Boroughs organising waste collections. Watch the YouTube clip and read the articles below to develop a detailed example on how food waste is being tackled in London. Make sure you link it to technology.

Activity Four - Revisit - Yemen

Using the Codrington text book Page 100 - add to your case study on the famine in Yemen the solutions that have been put in place to reduce food insecurity. Make sure you say whether it has been successful or not.

Activity Five - Linking - Climate Change

Now you have learnt about different proposals and schemes to reduce food waste in the USA and the UK as well as general programmes answer the following questions which help to tie different elements of the course together.

      1. In what ways can the solutions to food waste help to reduce climate change?
      2. How does climate change promote the need to reduce our overall food waste?

Exam Style Question

'Reducing food waste is the key to food insecurity.' Discuss [10 marks]

This lesson was development in collaboration with Richard Allaway from geographyalltheway. For more resources please visit www.geographyalltheway.com