Some aspects that should be considered in food justice and food security:
These main points are drawn largely from a conference talk by Dr. Gail Feenstra, UC Davis. Food Justice Summit, Fayetteville, AR, 2013.
There are so many issues surrounding food justice or its lack that this box could be a whole guide on its own, but the common thread is that proper nutrition is key to health, development, well-being, and cognitive and physical performance, so the ability to provide for oneself and one's family becomes a huge focus. If you are hungry, it's hard to focus on anything else. If you are full of not-very-nutritious food, then you will not feel as well or be able to perform as well as you might if you had better nutrition. The nutrition of the parents both before, during and after conception may make a difference to the health of their children. Deficiencies in some vitamins, such as folic acid, can lead to birth defects.
The USDA's labels describe ranges of food security:
For more commentary and specific data, see http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us/definitions-of-food-security.aspx#.UuwaZ_slL7Q
In a food-just world, each person would have the ability to grow or purchase, store, and prepare for themselves and their families sufficient wholesome food to be healthy on a day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month and year-to-year basis. Of course, this has agricultural, economic and political precursors and ramifications, as well as social, political and educational ones.
The definition from the USDA's NIFA is simple: "Food security" means that people have access, at all times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members." (http://www.nifa.usda.gov/hungerfoodsecurity.cfm, accessed 4/12/2014)
Food security has different aspects and official definitions, including legal and governmental definitions. See the box above for USDA Economic Research Service's definitions.
Food safety is a huge issue, and related to these topics, but it should have a guide of its own. According to the World Health Organization, these are the most important points:
"The five keys to safer food:
- Keep clean (hands, cutting surfaces, knives, utensils)
- Separate raw and cooked foods (especially meats and eggs, which spoil more quickly and are more likely to carry problematic microorganisms).
- Cook thoroughly, to specified internal temperatures or doneness. (This is especially important in pork or other meats that may carry parasites).
- Keep food at safe temperatures-- (Don't let food sit out too long, even if your Grandma used to do so).
- Use safe water and raw materials."
http://www.who.int/foodsafety/consumer/5keys/en/ Much more information under this link.