For the first time, the United States has dropped from the top spot in a global ranking of how well countries can feed their own people. A new ranking shows Ireland now as the world’s most food secure nation, with the U.S. the second most food secure nation.
Bloomberg reports the drop in food security for the U.S. can be attributed to concerns about agricultural research spending and government policy trends, which may make the world’s top food exporter a less-certain place to get a meal. Researchers for the Global Food Security Index say Ireland has improved its food affordability, availability, quality and safety over the last year. When including climate as a factor of food security, the U.S. fell even further to fourth on the list.
This is the sixth annual ranking of food security by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a London-based economics group. Overall, global food security declined for the first time in five years, largely because of increases in the number of refugees, weather disasters and a decline in global political stability.
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