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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-670
Number of pages14
JournalFood Security
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Development
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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