Wednesday, April 16, 2008

running out of chocolate in the pantry is not the same as the global food shortage

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.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Lucy said...

The way we live really IS a luxury. A stall holder at the market yesterday asked me if I thought the price of organic food was too high. No, I reckon it's reflective of the times and conditions in which we live.

Seeing just how difficult it is to scratch out a living as an organic producer in a wealthy country (via SBS programme Love's Harvest), I cannot imagine a life where we would have to go through days without food. Unthinkable.

It's only going to get more difficult as things change globally and IS worth a bit of contemplation. A lot in fact. I mean, I love Basmati rice, but seriously doubt that I will feel the crunch in my nice Melbourne kitchen - that will be burdened (and is being burdened) by the third world.

Bloody hell...

Am grateful every day for what I have. Every, single day.

10:35 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Thanks Lucy - knowing my rants are not a lone thought in the foodblogging world is much appreciated.

12:00 pm  

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