The urbanization of food insecurity and malnutrition
This special issue of the Environment and Urbanization journal explores different dimensions and drivers of urban food insecurity, but share a focus on low-income and marginalized groups. The key questions explored in this issue include 1) the links between urban poverty and food insecurity. One of the interesting findings linked to this question is that food security among others depends on the ability to buy in bulk and store staples when they are cheaper (PDF). 2) The contribution of food safety concerns to the restriction of traditional and informal food markets, and the impacts for low-income consumers and traders. An interesting finding linked to this question is that food safety is a key driver to modernize cities and formalize street food markets. Though, these more centralized spaces are often not suitably located for many poor consumers who cannot afford transport costs and can only buy food daily and in small quantities (PDF). 3) The importance of using a gender lens to understand the challenges to achieving food securit. Linked to this question is was noted that women are more knowledgeable about health hazards and often adopt effective strategies to mitigate microbial risks and follow good basic hygiene practices (PDF). 4) The often underestimated role of food in social relations and in supporting community networks. Linked to question 4, it was found that low-income consumers’ access to and provision of food is based not only on the physical infrastructure of markets but also on the relations between traders and consumers (PDF).