Urban food insecurity is one of the crushing issues that plague American cities. It’s a fancy name for food deserts – the vast tracts of inner cities that hold millions of America’s poorest people but lack grocery stores or other sources of decent food for them to eat.
Much of the debate so far on what to do about this has been distorted by hype, ideology and wishful thinking, mostly from good-hearted activists who think that urban farms or non-profit agriculture will solve the problem.
A new and much-needed report has just been issued on this problem, by the Emerging Leaders program of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and it should become the basic text for any city trying to feed its poorest people. The report is called “Feeding an Urban World: A Call to Action,” and it’s hard-headed, sensible, devoid of false optimism and rigorously sourced. It lays out the problem, reports on how some cities are beginning to deal with it, and suggests a way forward.