Truly hungry

Today, October 16th, is World Food Day, a day designated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations since 1945 as a day for promoting awareness of issues related to hunger, agriculture and food production.

While much of the time this site, like most food blogs, talk about indulging personal hunger and food cravings, there's a lot to think about on this subject these days, much of it rather sobering.

Foreign aid for agriculture and rural development has fallen from over US$9 billion per year in the early 1980s to less than $5 billion in the late 1990s.

1 in 7 people in the world suffers from hunger.

I'm not sure if it's the way I was brought up, but when I hear things like this I feel an awkward twinge of guilt. The so-called 'advanced' part of the world suffers from a case of overabundance of food, resulting in what's often termed an epidemic of obesity, while there are many parts of the world that don't have enough. Maybe it was all those times my father told us to clean our plates because "there are starving childen in Ethiopia" (or Bangladesh, or whatever part of the world was suffering at the time). In any case there's an awful imbalance in the world, that one often feels rather helpless to do much about.

One small thing we can do though it to make contributions to whatever organization that appeals to your political or religious or social senses, that is trying to do something about this. One of my favorite charities is the U.K. based Oxfam (with chapters in various other countries), which takes a very proactive approach such as helping to build wells in rural communities, to provide a necessary water source. There are many other great organizations too. Do your research and choose one to support.

Using a day like World Food Day to remind ourselves to continue to educate ourselves about food, hunger and nutrition isn't a bad thing either. Just making the effort to seek out fair trade products for example may lead to tiny changes.

Dinner is not such a straightforward plate of food anymore, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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Re: Truly hungry

I do not like the german oxfam because i think they rely to heavily on gifting animals than other much more needed things.

People can buy a bunh of chicken, goats or even cows for poor people or more excatly donate the money and oxfam will buy the stuffin the third world countries.

What is much more needed in the first place for a third world country is clean water supply, medical help, farming help for vegetables and grains which are originated there.

Animals need food and water...chicken can catch insects and search grain for themselves but even they need some food and more importantly water.

But with goats or even bigger animals you can get real problems.

And a bunch of goats is mostly nearly impossible to care for if you are a land bound african farmer.

Firstly you need water for drinking, cooking, watering the fields before you can think about getting yourswelf something bigger than some chickens or one goat.

Even chicken can ruin an area pretty fast with their picking and scratching if there is not enough room or food/water

Most people will NOT know about these circumstances, just think that these poor people should get chicken, a goat or cow for their breakfast egg and milk.

People will not know or think about that clean water is the greatest problem there and it would be better to buy a well than a cow.

If the people have clean water and can water their fields they will less likely stay poor and hungry..and then they can get themselves some animals because they have the money and food and water for the animal.

To buy first the animals like it happend in the 80´s or 90´s where the people got encouraged to get more cattle until in a dry period the waterhole dried out and the cattle(high breed cattle, not the foreign cattle which could live under these hard circumstances) trampled and grazed all the ground so it turned infertile and then the cattle died allbecause of thirst and hunger.

The *aid for africa* groups had to fly in water and hay for the cattle and much money was wasted during these time.

How much more could have been done if the *holy white men* had given more thought to the different circumstances and needs instead of forcing their own way of thinking, living...farming on these people.

More cows means more milk and meat and more money...but no one thought about that these cows would need food and water and what would happen during the dry periods of the year...

It was not as if these periods were rare or like hurrican catrina completly a surprise.

They just did not think about the real big problems

cyrell | 6 February, 2010 - 10:27

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