Sunday, May 6, 2012

What is Food Security?

I went to see a film called FINDING NORTH at the Hot Docs Film Festival yesterday and it struck me that the term Food Insecurity is coming up a lot lately.  Why?  What is it? and how do we get rid of it?

Food security refers to the availability of food and one's access to it. A household is considered food-secure when its occupants do not live in hunger or fear of starvation.

Food security is a problem that isn't a new problem it's just a new name for poverty and starvation.  People in the U.S. and ever growing in Canada don't have enough food to eat because they are losing their jobs or making minimum wage and don't have money left to buy food for their families.  In a nation of overabundance of wealth and food, how is it that people can be starving?  Well the answer doesn't lie in the families themselves it's in the whole government process from the top down.  We spend more money on gas/oil than we do on food.  People including myself waste as much food as they eat sometimes.  Junk food is subsidized by lobbyists lobbying for corn, wheat and etc commodoties because they can make money when the food turns into products that can be manufactured and distributed.

There are so many levels to the issue of Food Insecurity.

1. Families buy junk food to get by because it's cheaper.
2. Government agencies do not provide enough subsidies for food programs for kids and families.
3. Minimum wage does not provide a living wage for people to survive and thrive.
4. The lack of proper nutrition is causing the obesity epidemic to rise.
5. Because of the obesity epidemic people are developing diseases at younger ages and with more severity.
6. Proper food isn't available to low income neighbourhoods in some states.
7. Food that is available is heavily processed, or genetically modified so people aren't getting the proper nutrition to lead healthy lives.
8. People get stuck in the endless cycle of poverty because the system is broken and doesn't allow them to get healthy and have the opportunities to get ahead of the food game.
9. People don't know what to do to change the problem.
10. Something needs to be done before our 1st world countries end up like Third World Countries.

What can you do?  Help to change policies of governments by lobbying for things like raising minimum wages or lobbying for more money for food programs or for food stamps in the U.S.

But really the answer isn't in more charity it's in finding ways to help people help themselves.   People need to be educated and given opportunities to earn a living that will put food on the table and all people to live their lives in dignity and contribute to the world.  If all people are doing is focusing on ways to survive they are not thriving and not producing or contributing anything to build a nation.  Help give people an opportunity to focus on something other than how they are going to get food to eat.

Think of the changes that could be made in the World if people had enough food to eat and didn't have to work 2 jobs to survive.  Maybe they could cure Cancer or find ways to make wars dissapear.     Aren't wars usually caused by the Have's and Have not's?  Aren't they usually caused by resentment and anger.   Don't you ever get cranky and angry when you are hungry?  Imagine what it would be like if a Country wasn't hungry.  What could they do?

Personally I think the answer to some of these problems is to stop paying for military planes, weapons and missions and to put the money into education, healthcare and farmers and job creation.

We need to eat Real Food, be healthy and be educated to be able to have jobs to go to.

We need to find ways to eliminate the need for Food Banks and eliminate the word Food Insecurity in the coming years.

Do something to make a change.  Start a community garden, send a letter to a politician, help people that are struggling to survive by giving them an opportunity or a little help.

People are getting fatter and it's not because they are eating more it's because they are eating less and the over processed chemical laden foods they are surviving on is killing them.

If you have the power do something to make a change.

Do something on May 19th .  Start a Revolution.  Join Food Revolution Day and hep make a change.

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