#344: Prof. Martin Caraher – Food Poverty & Food Aid Provision

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Professor Martin Caraher, PhD

Prof. Martin Caraher is Emeritus Professor of food and health policy at Centre for Food Policy at City, University of London. He has worked for and acted as a consultant to the UK Department of Health, the World Bank and the World Health Organisation.

He was a member of the original London Food Board which developed the food strategy for London. He is a member of the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) scientific committee. He also sits on the Safefood Irl scientific committee.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How food poverty extends beyond simply access to food
  • Why “food poverty” is perhaps the better terminology compared to “food insecurity”
  • Why food poverty is a related, but distinct, issue to wider poverty
  • Food is an elastic item in the household budget making it likely people will compromise on it when under financial burden
  • More than 150 million in Europe and 8 million in UK alone (10% of population) estimated to go to bed hungry
  • Why Prof. Caraher strongly opposes the notion that the use of surplus food can address long-term food poverty
  • As charity-run food banks increase in number, operational power and amount of volunteers and donations, it lets governements off the hook
  • The political narrative around the "undeserving poor"
  • The problem of a low-tax, low welfare economy
  • What does the path towards reduced food poverty, ideally to the point where it is zero, look like?

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