I need to display a percentage of "food sufficiency" for a population. This is how it works:

  • X > 100% : abundance, wastes
  • X = 100% : enough food for everyone, perfect production, no waste
  • X < 100% : not enough food for newcomers (growth lowered)

I need to give a label to this indicator. What is the most appropriate term for it? Do you think "food sufficiency" is understandable?

  • Food sufficiency works but food sufficiency level might be more clear.
    – 0..
    Jul 9 '15 at 16:04

Are you sure you don't just need "food supply"?

In America the food supply is over abundant, leading to waste.

Most agrarian communities reach a saturation point where they produce a food supply that precisely feeds the community.

The food supply in deserts tends to be on the brink of catastrophic collapse.

The actual indicator would be the supply, while it is the degree of the indicator that would indicate the level of supply: under, over or exactly sufficient; high food supply, low food supply, sufficient food supply.

If you're looking for a specific label for the sufficient point though, and would like to name the indicator after that state, then I think you have two choices: either stick with trying to turn your adjective into a noun, or add a noun commonly used to name indicators. For instance:

  • Food Supply Sufficiency
  • Food Supply Adequacy
  • Sufficient Food Supply Index
  • Adequate Food Supply Measure
  • etc

I have to confess that in most cases, this one included, I react poorly to that sort of flowery academic language. I have a special disdain for indicators that attempt to peg themselves to arguably arbitrary scales. Your description already matches the term "food supply" pretty precisely, you may not want to coin another.

May I suggest instead that you own your formulation of it, i.e. "Quatermain's measure/formula/method/indicator for/of Food Supply"

  • Thanks for this answer. I didn't expect an answer so complete! :) Jul 10 '15 at 7:05

I believe the word you are looking for is:


1.    a state of rest or balance due to the equal action of opposing forces.
2.    equal balance between any powers, influences, etc.; equality of effect.

Perhaps a label such as: "Food Production Equilibrium" would serve your needs.

Here is a dictionary.com reference: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/equilibrium

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