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.