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.