What The UN Reports Is The True Root Of The Global Food Crisis

The global food crisis is one that doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon. In the last two years, the World Food Programme explains that over 345 million people have become at risk of food insecurity compared to the previous number of 135 million. While food security has always been a concern in certain parts of the world, currently it seems to be affecting almost everywhere. But why?

According to CNBC, the war between Russia and Ukraine has greatly impacted recent food shortages. However, food insecurity looms with Russia limiting its global export of fertilizer (and forced limitation of Ukrainian exports like corn, wheat, and sunflower oils. Likewise, we can also point a finger toward climate change. The Guardian reports that extreme weather patterns, floods, and draughts have majorly impacted crop yields, causing a ripple effect to be felt worldwide.

Yet while these factors contribute to the quantity and availability of our food, there are also other barriers beyond accessibility. For example, given the increased effort needed to produce our food sources, could cost be a barrier?

The problem lies in affordability rather than availability

It's not your imagination, food prices, do in, fact keep rising. The United Nations (UN) reported that global food prices have jumped 13% in the last year and, according to CNBC, could continue to skyrocket another 8.5% by 2027. Although these costs can contribute to the global food crisis felt by consumers, can it actually be to blame? Given stressed supply chains, a surge in food costs is to be expected, but it seems that these inflated prices are preventing more people from food security.

Unsurprisingly, the United Nations World Food Programme's Chief Economist Arif Husain claims that the crisis is really about food's affordability (via CNBC). "There is food available," he notes, "But the prices are really high."

Despite the fact that food security for all entails totally restructuring our food systems, there are some things we can do in the meantime to help alleviate the financial headaches caused by the crisis. As prices are set to skyrocket, the BBC recommends cutting costs by shopping around for lower prices on products, swapping name brands for generic or store brands, buying in bulk, and planning out meals to avoid waste.