Today’s hashtag #WFD2014 marks the day that the world dedicates to food and nutrition. We are celebrating World Food Day with Ida Frosk’s Food Art.
Of course, it’s easy to celebrate food and its variety if your plate is full…
Just a few days ago the Global Hunger Index 2014 revealed that:
- about 805 million people around the world are chronically undernourished;
- around 2 billion people suffer from ‘hidden hunger’ – which is the lack of specific nutrients such as minerals or vitamins.
Can it really be argued that the reason we are struggling to eradicate hunger around the world is that we don’t produce enough food?
It’s difficult to defend if you consider the food we waste and the increasing impact on health of obesity and weight-related diseases.
Access to food is the real issue that underlies hunger and nutritional deficiencies.
If you are poor and an unequal food system means rice is the only food you can afford, there is a good chance of you developing vitamin A deficiency (VAD). On top of that the lack of a varied diet undermines growth, which inevitably leads to further health problems. Humans haven’t evolved to be fed by monoculture: our bodies require and love a diverse diet. Nor are monocultures sustainable for the planet.
A number of people working in different roles on the front line of nutrition have shared with us their own individual approaches to tackling nutritional deficiencies.
A farm-to-table chef, a breastfeeding campaigner, a nutritionist, a home-gardening promoter, a food policy analyst, an anthropologist and a sociologist: their insights each add to the mosaic of solutions. No ‘silver bullet’ nor ‘golden-rice’ can solve the problem.
But there is good news. Because the more solutions there are, the greater are the opportunities for people to take back power and control over their own lives. And food is life.
Patrizia Cuonzo is a Media Specialist with Greenpeace International.
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