Food Security

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 657–670

Rethinking the food security debate in Asia: some missing ecological and health dimensions and solutions

  • Mark L. Wahlqvist
  • John McKay
  • Ya-Chen Chang
  • Ya-Wen Chiu
Original Paper


Food security is a global and regional concern of rapidly increasing consequence. It is at risk of inattention because of competing crises, because of its theoretical amenability to previously effective, if temporary measures, most impressively with the so-called Green Revolution and because of the recourse to the global trade paradigm as a putative solution. We identify some missing or under-emphasised dimensions in this analysis, with particular reference to Asia, which in spite of recent growth—or in some cases because of it—faces particularly daunting food problems. Greater emphasis needs to be given to population size and distribution through more concerted family planning and enlightened migration policy; public policy to retain or encourage plant-based diets; integration of food, health and environmental approaches to create resilient regional food systems; and the incorporation of food into the broader human security agenda. While regional organisations, along with their NGO counterparts and nation states, have an over-arching role to strategise in this way, substantial progress could still be made at the community and household levels, especially with current technologies which can marshal their collective and coherent action.


Ecosystems Eco-health Non-traditional security Population health Food prices Resilience 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. & International Society for Plant Pathology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark L. Wahlqvist
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • John McKay
    • 4
    • 5
  • Ya-Chen Chang
    • 1
  • Ya-Wen Chiu
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Preventive Medicine and Health Services Research, Institute of Population Health SciencesNational Health Research InstitutesZhunanTaiwan
  2. 2.Monash Asia InstituteMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.APCNS Centre for Nutrition and Food SafetyZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  4. 4.Analysis International and Australian APEC Study CentreMelbourneAustralia
  5. 5.School of Humanities and Social SciencesDeakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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