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Online course

Global Food Security: Addressing the Challenge

How will we feed an extra two billion people by the middle of this century?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Global Food Security: Addressing the Challenge

Why join the course?

In this course, we introduce the issue of food security and explore some of the different ways in which it has been described both in research and in practice and consider key concerns for the future.

Our central concern is ‘How we will feed an extra two billion people by the middle of this century?’ Focussing both on UK agriculture and on food supply chains in other parts of the world, we will examine how food has shaped our environmental and social landscapes. We will see that, while everyone would agree that food security is ‘a good thing’, ideas about what it means in practice and how it should be achieved vary tremendously.

Proposed developments to address global food insecurity range from technological inventions in the efficacy of large-scale agriculture through social and cultural innovations in local food production and consumption. You’ll be exploring a number of topics that address many issues including:

  • Is food security really just about food?
  • Should we have concerns about health, social justice, environmental degradation and cultural diversity?
  • What is the role of technology and innovation in promoting food security?

And much more.

In the final week we explore the big picture by considering food systems and food chains as a whole. Using examples from some of the case studies that we’ve explored, we consider the relationships between production and consumption and question whether particular kinds of agriculture are linked to particular diets and patterns of consumption.

We will explore the role of the retailer and the consumer in more detail as we ask what it means to enjoy a safe, healthy, sustainable diet. We also consider the issue of food poverty and how this fits within the food security debate.

You can use the hashtag #FLfoodsecurity to join and contribute to Twitter conversations about this course.

Professor Bill Davies has written a blog post about the course in which he argues that we need a new “Green Revolution” if we’re going to feed the world’s growing population.

Download video: standard or HD

What topics will you cover?

  • Is food security really just about food?
  • In working to develop increase food security should we have concerns about health, social justice, environmental degradation and cultural diversity?
  • From the local to the global: which scale of action is most appropriate?
  • What are the likely impacts of climate change on food production?
  • Can farmers successfully balance high productivity with appropriate environmental stewardship and can we produce more food while reducing essential inputs?
  • What is the role of technology and innovation in promoting food security?
  • Why do we waste so much food?
  • Is my food safe and is it good for me?
  • What are food systems and food chains?
  • What is food poverty?

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • Identify the broad spectrum of issues which contribute to food insecurity.
  • Explore both mainstream agricultural production and alternative food supply chains in different parts of the world to consider how enhanced food production can address the food security challenge.
  • Reflect on alternative ways in which we can increase peoples’ access to good quality and safe food in quantities that are adequate to ensure an active, healthy life style.
  • Investigate the ways in which food has shaped our environmental and social landscapes.

Who is the course for?

There are no requirements for this course except an interest in global food security

Who will you learn with?

Bill Davies

Developed interest in food while working on the family farm. Now work on improvement and management of crops aimed at producing more food with less water and on UK food supply chain issues.

Who developed the course?

Ranked in the global top 1%, Lancaster University is a collegiate university, with a global reputation as a centre for research, scholarship and teaching with an emphasis on employability.

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.

Certificate of Achievement + transcript £49.00

Statement of Participation £34.00

Estimate prices in preferred currency

Charges to your account will be made in GBP. Prices in local currency are provided as a convenience and are only an estimate based on current exchange rates.