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Food security has evolved from food availability to examining nutritional capabilities of the food that is produced or accessible to a household1. The Food and Agricultural Organization has defined the three main pillars of food security as food availability, food access, and food utilization.
Food availability is defined as the availability of sufficient quantities of food of appropriate quality supplied through domestic production or importation. The food availability indicator measures the amount of food produced by the household and the amount that is sold and purchased per capita to come up with an estimate of calories and nutrients available per capita2.
Food access may be defined as the ability to acquire sufficient quality and quantity of food to meet the nutritional requirements of individuals within the household for a productive life3. The food access indicator tends to focus on the economic aspect and examines the ability of a household or a person to purchase food.
Food utilization refers to an individual’s capacity to make use of food for a productive life3. Food utilization focuses on the diversity of the food consumed in the household and assesses the food groups available, calories consumed from staples versus nonstaples, and an evaluation of protein and micronutrient composition of food consumed.
1Burchi and De Muro, 2016
2Remans et al., 2013
3Swindale and Bilisky, 2006