Food Access: A Perspective on Financial and Human Capital
Each unit for the first half of the term involves subjects that relate especially to social and economic aspects of sustainable food systems. Select a topic (such as labor, food access, or consolidation) and describe how it relates to TWO (2) types of the five types of capital that we have defined in class (see image for types of capital – 2 points). Then, briefly identify 2 current challenges with this topic, and at least one potential way that we have an opportunity to make a contribution that moves us towards greater sustainability.
Maximum length should NOT exceed 600 words. Please use proper grammar, punctuation, and paragraphs to separate sections. You don’t need to repeat ideas at the beginning or end of your essay. I suggest writing your essay in a word processing application and then pasting into D2L to avoid losing your work – save regularly!
A Perspective on Financial and Human Capital
The social and the economic effects are apparent in the US food system and categorized by the levels of income, wealth, and equity of distribution on the broader concept of the economy. In regards to the social effects the perspectives of quality of life and associated with worker’s well-being. This paper transcends an analysis of how food access relates to financial and human capital to the US food system. Additionally, the paper will analyze the current challenge in obtaining food and a potential way towards achieving food access sustainability. According to Oria and Tsai (200), limited food access is a corollary to the insecurity of food, regarding its definition as the individual’s inability to purchase affordable and nutritious food within a given distance from home. As such, it is imperative to note that food access is affected predominantly by the dynamics of financial and human capital.
Food Access and Financial Capital
Indicatively, sustainable development keeps and increases all the productive capital stocks that are depleted through economic production. Financial capital, a concept in for sustainable development, can be explained as a facilitation of the economic production, rather, it is referring to a system of controlling or owning of physical capital. Money is a type of capital stock that can be invested in activities of production. Food can be produced and can be consumed(Goodwin 3). As such, within US food system, individuals are obliged to own financial capital to access food.
Food Access and Human Capital
On the other hand, human capital can be extrapolated to one’s ability rely on education, knowledge, skills, and training/education coupled with behavioral patterns to produce or consume a product(Almond and Currie 1320). Food access as the capacity to access affordable and nutritious food entails that combination of these factors by an individual on the pursuit to access food. Labor, as the main ingredient of human capital, is, therefore, a compelling factor in accessing food.
Research suggests that one of the greatest challenge pertaining food access in America is associated with increases in the cost of food and the behavioral patterns within the food system. As such, it is a proven fact the 4% of low-income areas in the US have access to food points such as supermarkets and grocery stores, but this does not assert that the food at the grocery stores and supermarkets are cheap and of high nutritional value. Consequently, most low-income earners in the urban or suburban neighborhood depend on fast foods as they are cheaper.
USDA indicates most of the populace lack access to nutritious and fresh food which contributes to the development of obesity and diet-related disorders/illnesses(Carden and Carr 45). As such, food access is not all about having access to supermarkets and grocery stores, but it accounts to what kind of food we have access to, is it nutritious? Is it safe? These are the greatest challenge that the US food system encounters in regards to food.
are some programs put in place to foster
food access sustainability. As such, an USDA project, Healthy Urban Food
Enterprise Development, has funded low food access areas with local foods(Vitiello and Wolf-Powers 510). Also, the USDA has several initiatives
to help in the improvement of agricultural products through providing loans to
low-income farmers to produce healthier foods. Additionally, to reach
sustainability goals, food access must be linked to better agricultural education and communities. Additionally,
farmers must have access to available information online to improve the quality
of food that the populace consumes.
Almond, Douglas, and Janet Currie. Human Capital Development before Age Five. Vol. 4. N.p., 2011. Web.
Carden, Trevor J, and Timothy P Carr. “Food Availability of Glucose and Fat, but Not Fructose, Increased in the US between 1970 and 2009: Analysis of the USDA Food Availability Data System.” Nutrition journal 12.1 (2013): 130. Web.
Goodwin, Neva R. “Five Kinds of Capital : Useful Concepts for Sustainable Development.” Global Development And Environment Institute Working Paper 3.7 (2003): 1–13. Print.
Oria, Maria, and Peggy Tsai. A Framework for Assessing the Health, Environmental, and Social Effects of the Food System. N.p., 2013. Print.
Vitiello, Domenic, and Laura Wolf-Powers. “Growing Food to Grow Cities?: The Potential of Agriculture Foreconomic and Community Development in the Urban United States.” Community Development Journal 49.4 (2014): 508–523. Web.