The definition of risk varies depending on the discipline; those in engineering, financial services and public health all have different characterizations of risk. Risk takes into account a known hazard, the probability that the hazard will cause a negative consequence and the severity of the consequence. Understanding risk contributes to informed decision making and can guide us toward a more healthful lifestyle.
The quest for the safest food supply in the world continues. Industry, government and the scientific community are working together to prevent food borne illness. Everyone in the food system can do their part to help ensure the safety of food and reduce individual risk. Informed consumers can help extend the precautions taken by these larger entities by becoming educated on how to buy, prepare and store food safely.
Nutrition during every stage of the lifecycle shapes individual risk for chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and obesity. Furthermore, specific risks such as birth defects can be minimized during different life stages through appropriate dietary measures. Understanding nutrition’s role in disease prevention is paramount in reducing individual health risk.
Agricultural practices, new ingredients and advanced technologies have provided the diverse food supply that exists today. Flavorful, nutritious, safe, convenient, colorful and affordable foods are part of our daily diets. Our preference ultimately drives innovations in the food supply although we are frequently speculative of new products and processes. Background information can help us understand these innovations and any potential risks that accompany them.