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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Best (And Worst) Countries To Get A Healthy Meal

Instead of ranking culinary prowess, the Good Enough to Eat index measures a country's supply of nourishing foods.

fruit, vegetable stand in Utrecht

Hunger affects one in eight people worldwide every day.

To analyze why so many are still suffering from food insecurity, Oxfam created the Good Enough to Eat index (pdf), a study of 125 countries and their access to food.

Best And Worst

The research is based on four main questions:

  1. Do people have enough to eat?
  2. Can they afford to eat?
  3. What quality is the available food and water?
  4. How does diet affect people’s health?

The Netherlands ranked as the top country for healthy eating, followed by most western European countries and Australia. The United States and U.K. were both absent from the top 10.

Scoring as the worst country in which to eat was Chad, followed by Burundi, India, Angola, Ethiopia and Guinea.

The top ranking countries have plenty of clean water and low malnutrition rates, while the worst places suffer the opposite. Climate change, underdeveloped agriculture and political concerns also affect a country’s food supply.

Complex Issues

Oxfam has created a call to action using the data they collected to strategically combat hunger.

In developing countries, small agriculture needs to be better supported and funded, and carbon emissions need to be controlled to slow the effects of climate change.

Researchers recommend ceasing biofuel production — like those used in the European Union — to stop diverting food crops and to improve land rights.

Food speculation should be better contained, the group says, to control high prices and volatility in the market.

And finally, developed and developing countries alike need to address rising obesity levels and curb the increasing prevalence of unhealthy and nutrient-poor foods.

Read More:

  • OXFAM America: Good Enough to Eat (Press Release)
  • Where In The World Is The Best Place For Healthy Eating? (NPR)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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