Problems related to food security in Russian Arctic (dietary imbalance, predominance of carbohydrates, shortage of milk products, vegetables and fruits, deficit of vitamins and microelements, chemical, infectious and parasitic food contamination) have been defined in the literature. But no standard protocol of food security assessment has been used in the majority of studies.
Our aim was to obtain food security indicators, identified within an Arctic collaboration, for selected regions of the Russian Arctic, Siberia and the Far East, and to compare food safety in these territories.
In 18 regions of the Russian Arctic, Siberia and the Far East, the following indicators of food security were analyzed: food costs, food consumption, and chemical and biological food contamination for the period 2000-2011.
Food costs in the regions are high, comprising 23-43% of household income. Only 4 out of 10 food groups (fish products, cereals, sugar, plant oil) are consumed in sufficient amounts. The consumption of milk products, eggs, vegetables, potatoes, fruits (and berries) is severely low in a majority of the selected regions. There are high levels of biological contamination of food in many regions. The biological and chemical contamination situation is alarming, especially in Chukotka. Only 7 food pollutants are under regular control; among pesticides, only DDT. Evenki AO and Magadan Oblast have reached peak values in food contaminants compared with other regions. Mercury in local fish has not been analyzed in the majority of the regions. In 3 regions, no monitoring of DDT occurs. Aflatoxins have not been analyzed in 5 regions. Nitrates had the highest percentage in excess of the hygienic threshold in all regions. Excesses of other pollutants in different regions were episodic and as a rule not high.
Improvement of the food supply and food accessibility in the regions of the Russian Arctic, Siberia and the Far East is of utmost importance. Both quantitative and qualitative control of chemical and biological contaminants in food is insufficient and demands radical enhancement aimed at improving food security.
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The aim of the study was (i) to describe the needs of food-insecure households and their assessment of community programmes, as expressed by households and perceived by stakeholders; and (ii) to examine the similarities and differences between households' and stakeholders' perceptions in Quebec City area.
A semi-structured interview and sociodemographic questionnaire with fifty-five households and fifty-nine stakeholders (community workers, managers, donor agencies). The transcriptions were subjected to content analysis and inter-coder reliability measurement.
The respondents' perceptions converge towards three main categories of needs: needs specific to food security, conditions necessary for achieving food security and related needs. There was agreement on the necessity of better financial resources, although the impact of financial resources alone may be uncertain in the opinion of some stakeholders. Different perceptions of needs and of their fulfilment by community programmes emerge between both groups. Despite households found positive aspects, they complained that quality of food and access were major needs neglected. Their account suggests overall a partial fit between the programmes and food security needs; even a combination of programmes (e.g. collective kitchens, purchasing groups, community gardens) was insufficient to adequately meet these needs. In contrast, most stakeholders perceived that the household's primary need was a basic amount of food and that the households were satisfied with programmes.
It is urgent to evaluate the overall effect of community programmes on specific aspects of household food insecurity. The results emphasise that community programmes alone cannot bring about social change needed to prevent food insecurity.