Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hunger Is Real

I am back after a crazy week of midterms and can finally catch up on posts. As I mentioned earlier, I went to a conference about world hunger a couple weeks ago.

There are so many issues in the world to which we have become dead. Paradoxically, it is the magnitude of a problem that makes us ignore it. We assume there is nothing we can do. By ourselves. As individuals. So we forget about it in the chaos of our petty everyday to-do lists.

I may be sounding a little harsh. But I want to challenge you to consider what it means to be a steward of the earth. Here are some facts that might astound you. And they are intended to.

We have been producing enough food to feed ourselves since the 1960s, and yet 25,000 people die every day due to hunger and hunger-related causes.

If everyone in the world lived as Americans do, it would take the resources of 6.5 earths to sustain.

A child starves to death every 6 seconds.

963 million people go to bed hungry every night.

Hunger kills more than HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.

I am not trying to depress you. I am simply trying to open your eyes to an issue of paramount significance in the world. From what I gathered at the conference, here are some small ways you can help (unless you, unlike me, have trillions of dollars to fund a mass reversal of the economical condition of hunger-ravaged countries):

Volunteer at your local God's Pantry or soup kitchen.
Raise awareness by telling others about the issue.
Volunteer with the World Food Program or other organizations on the front line of attack against hunger.
Grow your own garden and live as sustainably as you can.
Buy from local farmers.
Go on trips to areas particularly affected by hunger (asking for financial help for trips of this kind also helps to raise awareness).
Choose to expose yourself to the issue and then channel your emotion into action.
Put the cause first and don't care about whether you get any credit for helping.
Make connections with people who are passionate about the issue.
Pool resources with others to help fund relief.

We must remember, just as with any big issue, not to get overwhelmed; rather, we should break it down into achievable units.

I recommend that you watch this video, made by a student who was at the conference. It might help you realize the gravity of the situation.

On a lighter note, the food at the conference was scrumptiously delicious. A bit ironic, I know, to have good food at a conference about world hunger. But it was all from locally grown organic produce (especially from greenhouses), and so modeled the support of local economies.

Unfortunately, I didn't think to take pictures of it until the last night. And even then, I ate my salad before I remembered. So you will just have to take my word for it that the salad was beautiful. It was composed of golden roasted beets (golden beets are amazing!) and micro greens (a mix of shoots and seedlings) with goat Feta cheese and honey mustard dressing.

The entree, pictured below, was Chicken Paupiettes with a Shiitake Mushroom Stuffing with Sauteed Cabbage, Vegetable Bundles (consisting of carrots and rutabagas), and Yukon Gold Rosti Potato Cakes.

For dessert, I was delighted with a Warm Empire Apple Cake with Organic Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce.

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