Once a year bloggers worldwide come together to discuss an important global issue on Blog Action Day, this year it coincides with World Food Day. The aim is to get everyone talking, debating and discussing the many issues which surround food in the world today. Bloggers can interpret the topic any way they want, this is my take on it.
I love food. I write about it all the time. I get enormous pleasure from feeding my family and friends and seeing them full and happy. I love creating dishes and experimenting. I love growing my own vegetables and fruits in my tiny plot, harvesting them and eating them. I love foraging for berries and making jams. A friend who brings me a bag of quinces or a basket full of plums is a friend for life.
- I was driven past a mammoth rubbish dump on the road back to Maputo in Mozambique. Stretching for several hundred yards along the highway, it was covered with children, scavenging.
- I returned to the UK to the bright lights of my local supermarket where food is polished and bagged, piled high and then, obscenely, thrown away if no one buys it before its sell by date.
- The famine in The Horn of Africa grabs the headlines briefly every week or so and then slips back down the importance scale when some MP makes a mistake or some celebrity gets pregnant.
- Worldwide food prices which make most people in the UK tut and tighten their belts are the difference between life and death elsewhere in the world.
- We air freight food to our supermarkets because we want strawberries in January and asparagus in December and we encourage farmers to grow green beans for us rather than staple foods for them.
- We have a growing problem with obesity in the UK’s children while other children in the world are dying of starvation and malnutrition.
All these things and more bother me about food. How can it be right that by pure accident of birth one child starves while another over eats? What can we do to change this iniquitous balance?
How can it be right that we still have famine in the world in 2011, that we haven’t learned lessons from Ethiopia in 1984, that warning signs weren’t heeded and that we are again trying to stem the flood of deaths rather than prevent famine in the first place?
Why is war still more important than children?
Meeting all the people I have met over the last few months brought home to me that there is no ‘them and us’ there is only ‘we’ and we have to help each other.
Famine is the new F word – 30 000 children died in 3 months. Drought is an act of nature, famine is man-made.
The ONE Campaign have 5 actions you can take to help raise global awareness, keep famine in the headlines and to call on world leaders to act.
1. Sign this petition ahead of the G20 summit in November
2. Post the F Word video to your facebook wall and on your blog, link to it on Twitter
3. Share their infographic which shows which countries are leading relief efforts and which are lagging behind. (The UK is leading the efforts, we should be proud of that!)
4. Write a blog post. Register for Blog Action Day (it’s not too late) and spread the word Fight the Famine, Feed the Future
5. Share the hunger map with a friend. This crisis shouldn’t be knocked from the news headlines by nonsense.
On a personal level please try to buy locally grown, seasonal veg. We need to change our attitude towards food. It is not our right to pillage the world for titbits.