"More people have died as a consequence of hunger in the past 5 years than have been killed in all the wars, revolutions and murders in the past 150 years." - Bread For The World
Wow. That is just unreal, but apparently 16 million people die every year from hunger / malnutrition. I sit here, eating my apple, speaking of the virtues of eating locally (and organically), and others are simply without food.
I have come to realize that it doesn't have everything to do with us just having "enough" to give those in "need". There are systems, mechanisms, politics that would keep us from "alleviating poverty"...something that, at least in some ways, is a realistically possible idea.
I have never quite known what to do about this, what my part in the grand scheme of things ought to be, whether I should pray or give money or petition congress or support NGOs or what. I have tried all of those as well as relational redistribution, neighborliness. As a family (and now household), we continue to try to check out of the Industrial Food Machine which has left so many exploited and hungry. We have attempted to utilize the Fair Trade (or something like it) certification when we can. And I know this isn't perfect...sometimes these are merely new mechanisms that have their own hang-ups and downfalls.
I have tried living off less...but sometimes that can be hard to get behind philosophically. Still, I just ordered 3 cases of wine for the new year. What hypocrisy! or at least complexity. We use our LESS WITH MORE and EATING IN SEASON cookbooks that the Mennonites put together (and that friends gifted us). But it doesn't seem like enough.
But for most of us, we feel like we ought to do something, right? I would hope that some of us could put the same energy into helping our fellow man who is starving that we have perhaps misdirected at the generic word "terrorism". And I wonder if these two issues (poverty and terrorism) are not more closely related that we realize. We live in a world where 80% of the world's resources are consumed by 20% of the population...and I think we can all guess where that 20% is. Perhaps we could commit to a month at a time of a dietary shift...only local produce, no more shopping at Whole Foods (the Organic Industrial Food Face), only locally butchered meats from grassfed cows, grow your own herbs or veggies. In most instances this will cost more. Much more sometimes. Cheap food is an illusion. Someone pays for everything. I dunno, that's at least what will be on our radar if you stop in for a meal sometime.
What will you do in this new year?