The Economist Impact's Global Food Security Index has been released for 2021, and Canada is seventh on the list. The U.S. is tied with France for ninth place. In the 2020 Food Security Index, the U.S. placed eleventh, and Canada placed twelfth.
The Global Food Security Index takes into account how well a country is able to meet consumers' calorie and nutritional needs, as well as the impact of other factors including political stability, climate risks, and agricultural infrastructure. The Index looks at the various impacts of factors on food security in 113 countries; some of these factors include affordability, availability, quality, safety, natural resources, and resilience.
Due to the pandemic, as well as to conflict and climate variability, scores across all countries decreased during the past two years.
Ireland came in first place, with an overall score of 84.0, and Austria trailed Ireland in second place, with a score of 81.3. The UK, with a score of 81.0, took third place. The top ten countries on the Index are mostly European nations, and the bottom ten are mostly Sub-Saharan nations, with the exception of Haiti, Yemen, and Syria.
The Index also shows that hunger and growth stunting in children are tied to the quality and safety of food. Nations that have consumer diets that are lacking in proteins and micronutrients, where access to drinking water is limited, scored worse on the Index.
The final ranking of countries on the Index is also tied to the cost of food, as countries that are able to moderate the cost of food are more likely to have a higher Index ranking, like Ireland. Countries such as Venezuela and Burundi, some of the worst-performing countries on the Index, have been unable to prevent their food costs from rising.