Brooding On

Some Random Snippets on Food

Some statistics to ponder from this month's World Ark,  Heifer International's amazing publication:

* Hunger is the world's No. 1 health risk, killing more people than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.

*At least 2.8 million adults die each year as a result of illnesses related to being overweight and obese.

*There is enough food in the world today for everyone to have enough to eat.


Also, this:

"The United Nations declared Oct. 31, 2011, the 'Day of 7 Billion,' a world population milestone.  Within about 35 years, more than 9 billion people will need access to adequate food.  Indeed, in May 2011 the U.N. raised its estimate of the peak populaion to 10 billion by the end of this century.  But the number of people is the smaller part of the problem.   The critical issue is what the people do:  how much do they consume, in what ways, and what environmental damage do they cause?  Without some needed adjustments, a return of the world food problem is threatening."

It seems that we here in the US want our food to be readily available, no matter how far it has to travel to get to our markets, and plentiful.  And, perhaps most harmful, we want it cheap.  The average American family spends only 7% of its income on food.  Compare that to 36% of a Guatemalan family's income and 45% in Kenya.  In fact, "a poor family in a poor country spends as much as 70% of its income on food." 

By passing on the twin gifts of livestock and education, Heifer is doing its part to bring food to the table and to lessen the financial strain felt by families all over the world.  This is why I'm so glad to be able to support Heifer International's efforts, even if it is just on a small scale. 

Now, that we have our own chickens in the backyard, our kiddos are better able to understand what a gift of chicks to a family far from here will actually provide them.  And, thanks to Heifer's new interactive kid-friendly video, kids can hear from Sarah, the talking goat, and learn in kid-friendly terms about how Heifer works to alleviate hunger and poverty. :)