Essay on Food Security Through the Irish Potato Famine

Essay on Food Security Through the Irish Potato Famine

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By 1840, potatoes were a diet staple for the people who lived across seas in Ireland. Potatoes were basically the only food that the rural poor population consumed for all of their meals. However, the potato was also a staple in the diets of the middle class and upper class citizens even though they could afford more expensive foods. In 1845, the population of Ireland expected to have a favorable potato crop. However, when the farmers dug up the expected crop that year, they were faced with a black, liquid mess. This lead to a 50% loss in potatoes and each family had to fend for themselves and harvest however many potatoes they needed. The potato crops increasingly worsened from 1845 to 1847. Three years of bad potato crops devastated the country of Ireland in more ways than one. What we know it as today as the Irish Potato Famine caused many health and economic problems for the citizens of Ireland. Between 1846 and 1850, Ireland’s population dramatically decreased by two million people. Out of these two million people, around one million died of starvation and diseases associated with the famine. The other million migrated to other parts of the world, in hopes to give their family a better life. Though extreme, this famine is one of the most famous examples of food insecurity in the world. After events like this, it is apparent that all countries, including the United States, should take food security very seriously.
As defined by the World Health Organization, food security is defined as “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.” This concept of food security also includes both physical and economic access to food that satisfies the dietary needs and ...


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...trition as a young child can affect how the brain develops and responds to situations. Malnutrition can cause structural deficiencies in the brain that can hinder a child’s learning ability. This can cause problems with cognitive development and also social development. Another developmental issue that can occur because of malnutrition is mental retardation. Continuous malnutrition can limit brain growth and ultimately result in abnormal levels of cognitive and mental functioning. Mental retardation can cause slow motor skills and trouble mastering daily tasks, creating a slew of problems in a young child’s life. When a malnourished child becomes an adult, they are more likely to develop cognitive impairments like alzheimer’s.
After discussing these conditions, it is clear that food insecurity can cause numerous problems in the lives of both children and adults.

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