September 21, 2014

It’s a hungry world

Posted

Imagine this.

You are sitting on the floor with a group of 20 other people. For dinner all you have to eat is a bowl of rice, contaminated with bugs, that must be shared with the rest of your group. Fifteen feet away, there is a trio of people sitting at a table with a smorgasbord of delectable food, and servers are delivering their every desire.

You are so hungry that you would do anything just to get close to the smorgasbord; however, the elite three are not willing to share with you. Your bug-infested rice makes your stomach churn, but you will have to eat it because there are no other options.

Years ago, I participated in a “hunger dinner” similar to this. I was selected to be at the table as one of the elite three. We had the option to share our food, but all three of us had to give consent. One person did not want to share any food with anyone, so I sat there helpless, unable to give my food to those with much less.

Obviously this was just a simulation, and everyone was able to eat a full meal after the event, but the guilt I felt for having so much — just in this simulated dinner — was overwhelming.

I try not to waste food in my everyday life, but sometimes catch myself throwing away leftovers. I often take food for granted because I have an excess of it.

Growing up on a farm, food has always been readily available to me. I have always known where food comes from, whether it grows out of the ground, comes out of a cow or whether an animal has to be harvested for it. I have never had to go hungry or been worried about where my next meal would come from.

This is not the case for many people around the world. Children in developing countries go to bed with empty stomachs every night. Even people in our own country and community go hungry or don’t have enough to feed their family, even if this is not always visibly obvious.

According to the Progressive Farmer magazine, as the world population continues to grow exponentially, “farmers will have to produce more food in the next 40 years than they have in the last 10,000 years to make up for the increasing demand for food.” But with the continuance of urban sprawl, less land is available for farmers to utilize for agricultural purposes. How are we supposed to grow more food on less land?

This question is pretty controversial, especially when it comes to genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Some of these types of crops were created to resist drought and insect attacks. Some people believe that GMOs are harming those who eat them, causing an increase in cancer and other diseases. Others believe that GMOs are the key to meeting the rising demand for food while using less land and water. Both sides make compelling arguments and the pros and cons should continue to be investigated by scientists.

Seeing as I am not a scientist, my opinion doesn’t really matter. I am just saying that we all should try to be a little more conscious of where our food comes from, how much we waste and the food crisis in the world.

We can start helping by feeding the less fortunate in our own communities. Our local food pantries and area organizations work to distribute food throughout the region. These groups are always looking for people willing to donate their time, talents and treasures to aid the cause. We can also help the hungry who live continents away by donating to international hunger organizations.

Hopefully farmers can continue to meet the demands for food worldwide and one day invite all people to sit at the dinner table to enjoy a full, wholesome meal each night.

Copyright © 2014, Sunrise Publishing. Powered by: Creative Circle Advertising Solutions, Inc.