Food (Choices) for Thought

Nowadays most of us seem to have actually forgotten that food is an essential need to keep us alive. Most of the time when we talk about food we discuss if we visited the restaurants with the best ratings or some new raw cakes… We read about diets to follow according to our blood type or zodiac sign… Vegetarians, vegans, people with gluten intolerance, raw eaters…

Don’t get me wrong I am not against any of them, I don’t eat meat myself, I have some food intolerances, but I would love not to make three different kinds of pancakes and put labels next to each of the plates when I have some guests. Anyway my point is not about that, this time I am writing about the chance to have a choice.

We have the chance to go to the shops, farms, our gardens or order food online. Sometimes we do think more carefully about the products we buy according to our incomes, but look around, can you see someone who is starving? Who was already born having malnutrition, who is growing up and living day by day starving? I bet not. Actually right now when I am writing this I am not surrounded by anyone who is struggling to have at least one meal per day, but I am surrounded by people who are trying to find ways to avoid food waste because we cook too much or we buy too many ingredients.

We talk a lot about inequality, global issues, climate change, global warming, capitalism and so on, but do we really know who it hits the most, or do we want to know?

Some of us on this planet don’t have choices. A choice to reach information, a choice to receive a better education, a chance to drink clean water, a chance to eat every day. Yes, the last one is a chance to eat every day, we are not even talking about a choice in this case.

Spending eight months in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world, I was faced with this daily. Smiling kids, youngsters, adults, but almost no older people… but what lies under their smiles? Being in the rural areas I could see that most of them have health issues. Statistics show that children are the most visible victims of nutritional deficiencies. You can easily find the information that about 5 million children die every year just because of poor nutrition. Even a temporary lack of food during the first years after birth has a negative effect on physical and intellectual development and many impairments can appear.

It is hard to express all my thoughts in a short article, but it is just so many contradictions when we can see clearly that the world produces more food than all of the population of this planet needs, we have a huge amount of food waste, rules and regulations and how business is made out of this essential need for human beings to be alive.

I like a phrase that I learnt in Malawi ‘Food for thought’. I would like that we would become more aware about our actions and just try to think more widely about how each of us could make a difference, maybe even a tiny one, but just to take a stand.