Thursday, 28 August 2008

How Can That Be?

I was listening to the BBC last week and I was shocked when I heard that the number of people starving has never been greater at 800 million and the number of people who are overweight is even greater, at 1 billion.

How can that be? I always feel so depressed when I see the people in the world starving. Now I know that I will feel even more depressed.

After all, the people overweight are not only from western countries they are from eastern countries too. In the very countries where so many are starving there are many people who are overweight.

The real problem of course is not the people who are overweight, as I know personally many people who eat a lot and are not overweight. The real problem is the amount of wasted food that is thrown away. The real problem is the distribution of food. The real problem is that we don't care enough. The real problem is civil war in many of the countries where the people are starving. The real problem is that many of the countries with money and access to food are white and most of the people that are starving are black. I think that many of the people with power don't see their families or their children in the children who are starving.

I had to look into this further and discovered that the UK wastes an astonishing 30-40% of food, the US wastes 40-50% of all food, and Canada wastes about the same as the UK which would be 30-40% of all food. I wasn’t super surprised at the number of waste, as I know how much food I waste too. What I was surprised with is that the amount of wasted food is food that has not even been opened. In other words food that was just never used and then thrown out, such as eggs, chickens, cheese, and all kinds of packaged foods.

I was reading an article that stated that more than enough food is produced to feed a healthy global population. It stated that the problem in feeding all of the people is distribution and access to the food.

So while many are hungry (800 million) there are many who overeat (1 billion). And we cannot forget how much food is wasted and thrown out.

I am overweight and I know that I eat unconsciously. I am going to try to get better. I don’t mean in any kind of diet way (absurd when people are starving). What I mean is that I am going to try to not waste the food we have.

I have never felt okay knowing that there are people starving. But I always thought the problem was too huge. There were too many people and there just was not enough food. I am glad I have been made aware that there really is enough food. There are just too many fat cat countries wasting it.

I keep having an image of flies. Flies on children’s faces, flies on waste and garbage.

These children are not waste nor are they garbage. We all have to do something so that when the children have flies buzzing around them, they have access to enough food so that they have the strength and energy to push the flies away.

We have to care. We have to do something. What, I don't know. But we have to do something now. We need to remember that we are one human family living on one planet that has enough food on it currently to sustain all of us.

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