The UK Government has published its first food security assessment, calling for a radical rethink of food production in the light of the challenges of climate change. The assessment shows that the UK is doing well in many areas which make up a secure and sustainable food system, such as a diverse food supply, which includes UK production, and a strong distribution system. However, the challenges will be to ensure the sustainability of the UK's food supply and in particular to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to a changing climate at home and overseas that will affect what food can be grown and where and how it can be grown. The assessment also highlights the availability and effective use of water to produce food � the need to get more crop per drop � and the depletion of fish stocks. Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Hilary Benn said: "Last year the world had a wake-up call with the sudden oil and food price rises. While we know the price of our food, the full environmental costs and the costs to our health are significant and hidden. We need a radical rethink of how we produce and consume our food. Globally we need to cut emissions and adapt to the changing climate that will alter what we can grow and where we can grow it. We must maintain the natural resources � soils, water, and biodiversity � on which food production depends. And we need to tackle diet-related ill health that already costs the NHS and the wider economy billions of pounds each year. "And because we live in an interconnected world � where the price of soya in Brazil affects the price of steak at the local supermarket � we need to look at global issues that affect food security here. That's why we need to consider what the food system should look like in 20 years, and what must happen to get there. We need everyone in the food system to get involved � from farmers and retailers to the health service, schools and consumers." Mr Benn said that there were three big challenges that needed to be met: � how to meet the economic and environmental challenges of increased productivity in the food chain; � how to help people eat more healthily and ensure people have access to safe, affordable food; and � how to ensure that the way food is produced today doesn't damage the natural resources on which future food production depends. The food strategy for the future will be published later in the year, drawing on responses to the consultation.