Monday, April 21, 2008


I am wondering if it is just a little obscene at a time of increasing awareness about global food shortages, to be spending so much time writing about the joys of eating.

So I am going to take a moment to give thanks for having adequate personal resources to be able to shop each week at a plentiful market. Sure I shudder at the price of organic fruit most days but at least I have the choice to shop elsewhere if eating conventionally is better than having no fruit at all. What a luxury.

There has been a flurry of media activity this week, as a result of the IMF meeting last weekend, warning about global food shortages. Sure diverting land once dedicated for food to crops for biofuel is a large part of the problem. It is such a typical quick fix reaction to try to solve one problem by creating another. Global warming is already impacting on food costs in Australia where drought and floods are affecting production costs, so too the high cost of oil to cart the stuff around this vast land. Increased wealth in countries like China, creating a greater market for meat, coupled with a looming recession and inflation in the west are shooting prices up around the world. But can’t we take a step back from the hullabaloo and think holistically for a change? This article on the rising cost of food in India looks at not only the problems,
Already, about half of India was not eating full meals; going through days without food. With the price rise, I can see about 70 to 80 per cent of India will be pushed into hunger and starvation
but provides broader analysis of the real problems and appropriate ways of finding a solution.

In the meantime, I give thanks for the ability to put food on my table and support organisations like Oxfam and world food programs through Chez Pim’s ingenious annual Menu For Hope.

I’ll get off my soapbox now but first I ask all of us food oriented folk to spend a moment contemplating the issue and see what other ways we can find to make a ripple of change in the global food shortage crisis.

First posted on confessions of a food nazi

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Blogger Justine said...

yep its awful to think people are rioting with starvation and we can buy just about whatever takes our fancy to eat. and i know lots of the things i buy come wrapped in plastic to boot.

i really think the problem is capitalism. how can poorer countries be plugged in to the capitalist world economy and we not expect there to be problems? poorer people are vulnerable to exploitation, slipping into slavery, switching over to cash-cropping instead of growing their own edibles.

Slight tangent but actually the same issue: i also really believe this is where everybody having at least some of their agriculture is so important. not this RIDICULOUS flying-of-perishables-across-world -to-waiting-markets rubbish.

On the topic, Australia should never have gone into the free trade agreement with the USA. Its just going to create more dependency (eventuallY) and it is SO environmentally irresponsible.

6:31 am  
Blogger Ann O'Dyne said...

to stamp out hunger, corruption must be eliminated first.

I sent parcels to an aid-worker friend in Timor Leste which did not arrive. I was told the portugese mafia control the mail and steal everything.

The UN, Save The Children, Red Cross, CARE and SurfAid International all break their backs to get food to starving people, but too much of it seems to be appropriated by The Dark Side of the nations who receive it.

This week's news of wheat-less Egypt is disturbing.

and remember ... wherever people are having a bad time, animals are having a worse time.

8:18 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

A good book about Aid workers (especially those in the big name global organisation one) is "Emergency Sex" an amazing memoir following three workers, the corruption and how living that life changes you forever.

8:23 am  

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