Lately I’ve been thinking quite a bit about food – not so much because I’m hungry but because it seems to be a topic that keeps popping up in both my work and personal life.
A few weeks ago our family helped hand out grocery bags with shopping lists to members of our church. We were part of an effort to help the Raleigh Catholic Parish Outreach replenish their food bank, as they have seen a 42% increase in families seeking aid this summer compared to last year. Clearly the recession is worsening the situation for many families across North Carolina who seek out CPO for a week”s worth of groceries. Families take the shopping bags with a shopping list of items attached, fill the bag with the items, and bring it back the following week to be collected and taken to the CPO Food Bank. Essentially this work of charity is to gather food from those able to procure it to share it and redistribute it to those less fortunate.
Last week our family also enjoyed our weekly delivery of The Produce Box. It’s a great service we subscribe to that deliver locally grown, farm-fresh produce to our door every week during our North Carolina growing season. Why – because it not only supports local farmers, but it tastes better and is healthier too!
Then last week we also saw the passing and death of Norman Borlaug. As you may know, Norman won the Nobel Prize in 1970 for his revolutionary work to create genetically altered strains of wheat and rice that significantly increased the crop yields. He is universally credited with saving the lives of hundreds of millions of people by enabling many developing economies to become self-sufficient in their agricultural production during the 1960s.
During the recent downturn there have also been quite a few media articles and reports about the increasing number of citizens (and especially Americans) who have taken to growing their own produce. Given the global economic downturn they are now frequently called “recession gardens.”
Thanks in large part to the innovation of Mr. Borlaug there is now sufficient food on the earth to feed the world’s population. Similarly, thanks to programs like the Produce Box, my family can enjoy organic food from a local farm as an alternative to the very good and high quality produce in the grocery store that is shipped in from all parts of the globe.
But still we have a hunger problem in many parts of the world. As you can see at the Stop the Hunger site – approximately 27,000 people die of hunger each day in the world, and 78% of the malnourished children live in countries with food surpluses. So if we have enough food – it must just be a question of getting it to the right places…..
More to come – on Smarter Food….