Oct 16, 2011

[Blog Action Day] Food

Starvation by Cody Simms via Flickr.

Today marks Blog Action Day 2011 - and given today is also World Food Day, thus it made sense to the organize to merge the discussions about the two topics.

Recently my annual physical exam showed a few above average spikes in my system that has mandated a change in my diet as recommended by our company physician. And while it's a bit of a challenge, it's not exactly like I've started to live a deprived life.

Crop of Children with various body composition...Image via WikipediaEating healthier isn't easy. Our current economy has reached a point where the cheapest food to buy tends to be the least nutritious. Fast food restaurant franchises rule the dinner tables of the less well off fortunate along with cheaper varieties of packaged soups and other such meals. And given this we've seen things like childhood obesity no longer be confined to be the kind of ailments reserved for the rich. Oh no, for the average consumer it's far easier to just resort to what is most convenient, which is typically what is most unhealthy.

Thus we have a weird stratification where you started to get fatter as you hit a certain level of financial stability. Go below that line and you see a sudden decline in average weight and we're left with the poor and starving - those who barely have enough to get through the day.

That's the thing really - if modern manufacturing techniques can help food become cheaper and more readily available to a wider population, then why can't the same trend be said of healthier food? Why can't we get more nutritious meals out there to a larger segment of the global population? While I respect the need for any company to continue to earn a project to support its business, there still has to be more than that.

There is a striking disparity between the producers and the consumers of the world. In most cases the producers are made to get by with far less while the consumers are able to take more and more for themselves. And it's not like things are getting better anytime soon. In fact, more and more people continue to be born into this world with steadily increasing food needs. And instead of looking for sustainable solutions, corporations are still going the easy route and choosing the methodology that provides the best yield for the maximum amount of profit.

The solution for this situation, like most other problems of this nature, is never a easy one. It involves many countries working togeher - both producers and consumers - to develop a better system.One that involvews advancing agricultural technologies, developing better food supply lines and determining a more equitable food distribution system that address those who are currently without.

For now my part in all this, like most other Blog Action Day bloggers, is to try to raise awareness about this issue and get the ball rolling. Demand for your governments to start talking about this critical issue before it's too late. After all, change begins with the individual, not with the majority. You don't need to be living in a third world country like the Philippines (as I do) before getting around to realizing the gravity of this situation.
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