What is Food Security?

Food Security is widely described as the condition in which all people at all times can acquire safe, nutritionally adequate, and personally acceptable foods in a manner that maintains human dignity.

Food Security is everyone's business.

Food Security includes the circle of:

  • Planting 
  • Growing
  • Harvesting
  • Transporting
  • Shopping
  • Preparing
  • Eating, and
  • Preserving our environment.

Food Security means Equity and Choice at every point.

Alberta Food Matters and Growing Food Security in Alberta (GFSA) have come to understand food security as the satisfaction of five elements:


  • Availability - sufficient supplies of food for all people at all times
  • Accessibility - physical and economic access to food for all at all times
  • Acceptability - culturally acceptable and appropriate food and distribution systems
  • Adequacy - nutritional quality, safety, sustainability of available sources/methods of food supply
  • Action - ensuring the social and economic infrastructures are in place to enable action that will ensure the previous four elements of food security.

(Adapted from the work of Rod MacRae)

Food Sovereignty means people have a say in how their food is produced and where it comes from. Food sovereignty seeks to rebuild the relationship between people and the land, and between those who grow and harvest food and those who eat it.

Food Security and Food Sovereignty are preconditions for a sustainable community, but in order to thrive and prosper the relationships that maintains them needs to be quantified in economic terms.

This is where the SELRS project comes in. SELRS is an acronym that stands for Sustainable, Equitable, Local and Regenerative, representing a lens for assessing the state of a system for community-based food.

For more information on the SELRS project please visit the GFSA blog and view the SELRS lens here.