16 October 2011

Education and Food

Because this is Blog Action Day, the blogosphere is dedicated, in large part, to discussing the basic right and need of all people everywhere to a sustaining and nutritious diet. Our current planet produces adequate food for all people everywhere, but there is difficulty getting the proper food to people who need it for several reasons. A clear and careful understanding of this situation is a core requirement--or at least a 'care requirement'--for proper education in the 21st century.
One reason for the lack of food in some locations is the massive inequity in the food consumed per capita between countries and between rich and poor within the same country. The spread of obesity (though perhaps this is not an appropriate topic for punning) in North America is evidence that many people are more concerned with consuming all we can instead of sharing. This sort of behaviour is strictly discouraged on the playground, where some children on playgrounds consider all they see as theirs and others are left without anything to play with. But we seem not to notice when we do the same things on a national or global level with our food-stocks.
Another major reason for the lack of adequate food for part of the world is the amount of food, in the form of grains, fed to fatten the meat animals consumed in richer parts of the world. This in and of itself is unethical given the number of people who could be saved from starvation by the simple expedient of feeding them the grains given our cattle (and other domestic animals). But the fact that our meat is actually made less healthy by the infusion of a high-grain diet, goes beyond selfishness and to pure idiocy, in light of the high incidence of heart disease and other diet-related illnesses and disabilities.
Of course, merely shipping our 'overstock' to other countries does not address the basic need for food to be a major focus of production close to where consumers live. An answer to this situation is evident in the move to local and self-produced consumables. 'Victory gardens', after the model of those grown in England and other countries after WWII, are emerging in suburban, and even urban, areas. People are growing their own spices and some of their vegetables in pots and planters on their decks, and those with adequate land are spending more time growing more of their own produce. Growing numbers of people whose incomes would allow for the purchase of all their food consider it an especial mark of pride that they grow most--or even all--their own food.
The increase of understanding and changes in attitude that have been introduced in this post is requisite for an educated people in this age. A major goal of this blog is to facilitate education of people in their home communities. Considering how we produce, buy, and consume our food, especially in view of the needs of millions worldwide, is an important part of the care we need to take as we make our way from day to day and year to year.

No comments:

Post a Comment