Why ‘Famine’ needs timely properly treated?
“While the consequences of food intake are physiological/biological, the decision about which foods to consume are cultural”. (Pelto & Jerome, 1987)
So they described ‘nutrition’ as the bio-cultural issue par excellence as it combines the study of culture and biology.
What is ‘famine’?
Let’s view ‘famine’ from the aspects of bio-culture.
Famine can be caused by environmental factors and political factors.
Environmental factors can be:
1. Soil fertility,
2. Natural disasters like untimely rainfall, flood, drought, etc.
3. Agricultural practices, and
4. Migration patterns
Political factors include:
1. Civil war
2. Rise in food prices
3. Erosion and failure in demand
4. Food chain mainly distribution
5. Lack of political power, and
6. Reluctance in proper intervention
Whatever the causes of famine, responses and actions have to be in place at right time by the government and international society collaboratively. At the same time, indigenous responses to famine should also be there. For example, adaptations on new normal food diversity, dietray changing in meal pattern and frquency, and risk insurance as patronage or food sharing or lending.
Otherwise, famine will lead to a chronic problem and will cause the nutritional adaptation. Readers might think that adaptation in nutrition is a good signal. Of course, it can be in some aspects, but not in terms of famine. Here, nutritional adaptation refers to the change in individual nutrition requirements according to a wide range of socio-economic factors (age, gender, physical activity level, stress, disease etc.) Unfortunately, this changing trend leads to poor nutritional status of the effecting people, and hence causing chronic malnutrition. The lower the requirement level of nutrients, the higher the potential of encountering malnutrition.
In conclusion, ‘famine’ should be treated in time bio-culturally safe and sound by the lead of government.