A Food Producer Country for a Dysfunctional Food System
Uruguay is an agricultural-based country and stands out for exporting most of its food production, mainly meat and soybeans. The production of grains for animal feed has grown significantly. The insertion of the country in the world food system and its nutritional contribution for the national population is critically reviewed based on three indicators: 1) number of people fed by the national food production; 2) contribution to food security according to destination country of exports and 3) national production of fruits and vegetables per person. The number of people potentially fed by the national production is 19.4 million. The amount of calories produced in animal feed is 32 % of the total. If all the calories in animal feed were destined directly for human consumption, the number of people fed would be 27.8 million, but due to the loss of efficiency per conversion, 8.4 million fewer people are fed. The food exported by Uruguay is 94 % destined for countries with low (89 %) or moderate (5 %) food insecurity, relativizing their contribution to serious situations of food insecurity. The national production of fruits and vegetables, available for consumption in the fresh domestic market, represents 50 % of the minimum recommended consumption for a healthy diet. A weakness in production is identified, which despite a being surplus in calories, presents imbalances in the type of food produced.