Eating, Drinking: Surviving

Part of the series SpringerBriefs in Global Understanding pp 1-12

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.


Introduction: Understanding the Complexities of Eating, Drinking, and Surviving

  • Peter JacksonAffiliated withDepartment of Geography, University of Sheffield Email author 
  • , Walter E. L. SpiessAffiliated withInstitute of Food Process Engineering, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • , Farhana SultanaAffiliated withDepartment of Geography, Maxwell School, Syracuse University


This introduction to a series of essays on the global challenges of food and water security, commissioned as part of the International Year of Global Understanding, provides a definition of key terms and an historical context to these contemporary issues. It discusses the human right to adequate food and water, outlining some of the political struggles that have arisen over accessing these vital resources. Patterns of ‘under-’ and ‘over-consumption’ are discussed and analyzed, measured against the targets set in the Millennium Development and Sustainable Development Goals. The essays share a common approach, linking global challenges to the realities of everyday life and emphasizing the connections between biophysical and socio-cultural processes. The essays also address a number of cross-cutting themes including gender, ethnic and religious diversity, and the emotional and affective dimensions of life, going beyond questions of survival to incorporate the more qualitative dimensions of human well-being and quality of life.


IYGU Eating Drinking Food security Water security Malnutrition Obesity Well-being MDGs SDGs