Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Happy World Food Day!

It's a two-for-one because today is a very special day - World Food Day! The theme this year is the right to food. Boy, what an obvious yet ignored issue.

Here's a great article about it, and a preview to whet your whistle:

That simple truth explains what otherwise is of course mind-boggling: Though the planet produces enough calories to make every one of us chubby, 854 million are hungry, up from 830 million six years ago according to the United Nations. Here at home where 13,000 calories a day are produced in grain alone for each of us, market dogma leaves millions hungry: 36 million Americans are food insecure -- that's more than the entire population of Canada.
And, because the poor can't exert "market demand," 70 percent of the world's agricultural land is devoted to grazing and crops that become feed for factory-farmed animals -- all to produce meat priced beyond the affordability of the poor and hungry.
Economists generally agree that once four companies control 40 percent or more of a market, real competition -- what consumers and farmers rely on for fair prices and practices -- is shot.
Consider that today the four largest beef processors control 81 percent of the market or that the four largest grain processors control 80 percent of the soybean market. One company -- Monsanto -- controls more than 90 percent of the market for genetically modified seeds and Wal-Mart collects an estimated one in four food dollars spent in the United States.

And well it goes on but you probably know if you want to read it by now - it does end on a hopeful note with stories of success in developing countries. I love the Lappes' writing - always inspirational and challenging.

My friends, today is a day to be thankful if we have full bellies and to chastise ourselves if we are eating crap (case in point: I am eating overcooked (but organic!) ramen noodles at the moment. I shall roundly self-chastise and go find something much more wholesome). Go eat something delicious and thank the provider for it! And then, consider moving towards buying more organic food, and buying food locally or fair trade if it's from far away, and check out Bread for the World if you want to get ideas for shaping national food policies.

We are blessed with wonderful provision, especially in our bodies that can smell, taste, and use what we eat to keep us going! How marvelous that our simple daily act of eating can remind us of the love of our creator.

Bless our hearts to hear
in the breaking of bread
the song of the universe

Father John Giuliani
The Benedictine Grace
West Redding, CN
From "100 Graces" by Marcia & Jack Kelly

1 comment:

Holly said...

I'm embarrassed to say I forgot it was World Food Day! Thanks for the reminder - great post.