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Let's not forget climate change in the food insecurity conversation: why the homeless are most vulnerable
The recent article by Crawford et al. on food insecurity in homeless young people in Australia raises significant issues concerning both nutrition and the affordability of healthier food for this vulnerable group. The high cost associated with healthier foods has been established as one of the key barriers to food security, and this theme was clearly evident in Crawford’s exploration of the topic.
Unfortunately, the impact of climate change on food production and food distribution systems will make the goal of healthier eating even more difficult for those already struggling with food costs, such as these young men and women.
Modelling suggests that climate variability will increase in Australia over time, creating a more extreme pattern of ‘hotter hots’, ‘wetter wets’ and ‘drier dries’. Climate variability strongly impacts agricultural production through reduced food yields and food quality, with water-intensive and heat-sensitive foods such as fruits and vegetables particularly vulnerable. This impact creates a consequential and substantial increase in food cost - Quiggan, for example, found that in the two years from September 2005 to September 2007, fresh fruit prices in Australia increased by 43% and vegetables by 33%. Widespread drought across the country was identified as the primary contributor.
Publication titleHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Department/SchoolMenzies Institute for Medical Research
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd
Place of publicationAustralia