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For the question ‘Where in the world are the best and worst places to eat’, a new report by Oxfam states that the Netherlands is the best while Chad is the worst.
The report did not bring good news for Ethiopia either as the country was placed second to last on the list.
The 125 countries were ranked by Oxfam on the availability, quality and affordability of food and dietary health. It also looked at the percentage of underweight children, food diversity and access to clean water, as well as negative health outcomes such as obesity and diabetes.
The Netherlands tops the list followed by France and Switzerland as the countries with the most nutritional foods at an affordable price. Chad on the other hand was labeled as the worst as it is where food of little nutritional value is still very expensive and is prepared with limited access to good sanitary conditions. Due to these issues, one in three children are underweight there.
Despite the fact that there is plenty of food in the world to go around, recent studies show that 840 million people go hungry everyday.
The report suggests that this is this is happening due to the looming squeeze on natural resources; particularly on land and water as well as the gathering pace of climate change. It also states that these factors are likely to worsen and the number of hungry will increase. Already, analysis suggests that climate change could increase the number of people at risk of hunger 10-20 per cent by 2050, compared to a world with no climate change.
The report underlines a number of reasons why people go hungry out of those mentioned are lack of investment in small-scale agriculture and infrastructure in developing countries. Growing impact of climate change on the earth is also a huge factor as it is affecting food production and security.
When it comes to unhealthy eating Saudi Arabia tops the list as the worst performing country. Diabetes affects 18 percent of the population and a third are considered obese.
Ethiopia is placed with countries with almost zero obesity, but “by combining these scores with under nutrition and underweight children levels, it is clear that this is not a position to be celebrated and rather reflects the scarcity of food that is available,” the report reads.
Oxfam’s The Good Enough to Eat Index states that the relationship between food and the people it must feed for their survival is clearly under pressure and action is urgently needed before the system is further stretched.
Among the recommended actions are investing in small-holder agriculture and infrastructure in developing countries to raise production level and diversity of crops, and give farmers access to markets and the means to store food to prevent waste.
Climate change is greatly affecting food security, the report suggests that tackling the problem by reducing global carbon emissions to prevent the ever-worse climate impacts on food production, investing in resilient agriculture production that can adapt to a changing climate, and raising climate finance so that farmers can adopt better practices and technologies to respond to climate change.
Improving land rights so that vulnerable communities are at less risk of losing the land they rely on to grow food is also considered necessary.