Honestly Kid

by Daniel Damkoehler


2nd thoughts

World Food Day

I think a lot about food these days. Maybe it has some­thing to do with turn­ing 40 or maybe I’m just a pawn of pop­u­lar cul­ture, but I devote more time than ever before to exam­in­ing exactly what I’m putting into my body. I haven’t read any of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s ManifestoMichael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Mealsbooks or Alter’s Fast Food Nation, but most every­one in this most lib­eral of states tracks these ideas fairly closely.

Add to that my lovely partner’s inter­est in solv­ing her body’s neg­a­tive reac­tions to wheat flour and dairy and what I eat is more than an idle pre­oc­cu­pa­tion. As a side note, I recently joined her in the Dr. Mark Hyman’s Ultra-Metabolism Diet and I con­fess to feel­ing great  and lov­ing the food despite the many restric­tions. In fact, I’m begin­ning to get a bit queasy at the sight of the kinds of junk food I used to love so well.

Of course, it is not lost on me that this kind of self-conscious dietary med­dling is in fact a lux­ury. I have often joined in singing the famil­iar “only in America does any­one actu­ally feel the need to go on a diet” cho­rus. In a world where most peo­ple live on less than 2 dol­lars a day, wor­ry­ing about 10 to 20 extra pounds brings to mind anec­dotes about Marie Antoinette and the Romanovs.

While I won­der if I can pos­si­bly avoid sugar and flour all week­end long, tens of mil­lions of other human beings are try­ing to get through the week­end not know­ing if they’ll have any food at all. World Food Day is a day for those of us with too much to think a bit more about those with too lit­tle. More specif­i­cally, the orga­niz­ers of this year’s World Food Day are ask­ing that we con­sider the prob­lem of food security.

What is food secu­rity?

Ask Wikipedia: “Food Security refers to the avail­abil­ity of food and one’s access to it.” Ask the Coalition for Community Food Security and you’ll get a more holis­tic answer, but the con­cept is pretty much the same: peo­ple shouldn’t have to worry about get­ting their next meal or obtain­ing their next day’s or next week’s food supply.

I don’t think it’s easy to grasp just how far we are from the real­ity of not know­ing where to find food. Sure, we have home­less and poor in America, but the vast major­ity know they could beg, bor­row, or steal food (hope­fully they never need do any of these things), but in other places not even these things are an option.

Support the solu­tions to our world­wide food secu­rity prob­lems. Feed some­one locally. Or at least carve out some time to think about it.