The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) defines food insecurity as a household characteristic. Food insecure households are those for which “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year” (See more at: USDA-ERS).
The state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. During the first decade of this century, more than 800 million people live every day with hunger or food insecurity as their constant companion (see also National Academy of Science definitions).
Food losses refer to the decrease in edible food mass throughout the part of the supply chain that specifically leads to edible food for human consumption. Food losses take place at production, post-harvest and processing stages in the food supply chain. Food losses occurring at the end of the food chain (retail and final consumption) are rather called “food waste”, which relates to retailers’ and consumers’ behavior.
Food security exists “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.” Learn about the three pillars of food security at the World Health Organization (WHO) website and the four dimensions of food insecurity at the FAO website.
Food waste is a component of food loss and occurs when an edible item goes unconsumed as a result of human action or inaction, such as food discarded by retailers as a result of appearance or plate waste by consumers.