Author Topic: Solving the world's hunger and obesity crises together  (Read 2893 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline Ryan

  • Just another crazy runner
  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 8245
  • Karma: 11
  • 2011 Walleye Run
    • Hillrunner.com
Solving the world's hunger and obesity crises together
« on: August 11, 2010, 08:00:58 AM »
An interesting article about problems we may not think of as related and why they might be.

I have personally always thought of the irony of people starving to death in parts of the world while, in other parts and sometimes even just down the street, other people are eating themselves to death. I can't say I've ever connected the two problems the way this writer did, though. It's a pretty persuasive argument and she brings up some good ideas of what might turn both of these problems around. Though she's light on the details of how to implement those ideas at this point, it appears that she's committed to coming up with the details and implementing them.

Offline Ed

  • 4 Consistent months and Counting!
  • Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1144
  • Karma: 1
Re: Solving the world's hunger and obesity crises together
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2010, 08:45:37 AM »
It took 30-50 years to develop this poor diet that is mass-produced and highly processed.  It will take at least that to completely reverse the issue - if not longer.  The world culture is becoming one of instant gratification and one of high expectations.  People want to get at food that tastes great and is very fast and very easy.  People expect their McD's burger to taste the same in Tampa FL as it does in Berlin Germany.  This is the attitude that must change.
 
New, unique and wholly fresh meals from local eateries are much more expensive and take much more time.  I prefer this but cannot afford it.
 
People starting their own gardens are a great way to begin this transformation from a mass produced food  society.
 
This year my family has grown potatoes, green peppers, red onions, chives, peas, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries and even some broccoli.  We did not grow allot but it has been enough for many meals.  We used rain barrels to collect rain instead of watering from the city water supply.
 
If every household were to do this and buy the remainder of their needs from local farmer's markets - the health situation would turn around.
 
As far as feeding the starving - that is a very different situation all together.  We cannot ship them all of the cheap foods that we currently eat - most westerners eat like crap. 
 
The problem is the areas that have not been able to sustain farms, hunting or fisheries over the last 100 years just are not meant for humans to live in.  However, those people have nowhere else to go - borders have been drawn and people have been taught to hate their neighbors - especially in those African nations.  We cannot afford to feed the world for the remainder of human existence.  Places in the world that are not meant for humans to live in need to be vacated - those individuals need to be assimilated in societies that can handle an influx of people and those people should be taught to farm, hunt and fish or work for others to earn what they need to survive.
 
Next Goal Race - Al's Run

Offline Ryan

  • Just another crazy runner
  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 8245
  • Karma: 11
  • 2011 Walleye Run
    • Hillrunner.com
Re: Solving the world's hunger and obesity crises together
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2010, 09:01:59 AM »
Ed, if you read between the lines in the article, I get the impression that she doesn't expect it to be a quick fix. Also, she's not saying we ship all the cheap foods over there to fix the hunger crisis. In fact, she's saying shipping all the cheap foods to starving people is a major cause of the hunger crisis. We have to help them grow their own food, establish areas that can support agriculture, and teach them how to grow in these still challenging areas.

Honestly, if we did nothing but stop subsidizing unhealthy foods and use that money to support healthier alternatives like community gardens, farmer's markets, CSA farms, etc., we could tip the balance to where healthy food is more affordable and unhealthy food is more expensive. It wouldn't have to cost us a cent more than the current system costs us, it could strictly be a reappropriation of already budgeted funds and it could make a big difference. Of course, corporate agriculture is now built around large corn and soybean fields so it would be very politically difficult to do but it would be the best for the health of the country (in the long term, it would also be a very inexpensive way to positively affect our nation's health care costs).

Offline Ed

  • 4 Consistent months and Counting!
  • Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1144
  • Karma: 1
Re: Solving the world's hunger and obesity crises together
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2010, 09:46:28 AM »
The solution is so easy - but that is not where the allmighty dollar resides.
 
I have tossed the idea around in my mind of moving more country and raising my own meats as well as fruit and vegetables.
 
Had frozen pizza for dinner but -   I put some tomatoes, green peppers and onions straight off the plant from my yard - they were so good!
 
Ryan - I wonder if we could add something to the non-ruunning area about urban food gardening. Healthy vegetables and fruits that have no pestacides, grown at your home could benefit your overall health which will help one's running.
Next Goal Race - Al's Run

Offline r-at-work

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
  • Karma: 6
Re: Solving the world's hunger and obesity crises together
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2010, 09:56:47 AM »
taking two issues noted in the article
Quote

Maybe we need to change the way we value the food we eat, so that a "value meal" is something we are proud to feed our children.
Maybe we need to re-engage our smart, energetic youth around the world to be farmers and find fresh, green technologies that will feed the world more fresh greens.
 

First: Feeding children, culutrally is the responsibility of "the mother'', "womens' work"  and therefore not intrinsically valued. In the modern world 'speed is of the essence' so fast food becomes valued...Lots of women hold jobs outside the home and find that there are simply not enough hours in their day for shopping and cooking fresh foods...processed food becomes a neccessity.
Second: Farming is one of the lowest paid jobs in this country and in most other countries, unless you are growing poppies or cannabis. Plus if these smart youth do grow fresh greens they must get the to market and convince someone to buy them. A good article I heard last year on NPR talked about how difficult it is to go to the farmers' market, but what is available and then cook meals with what you buy instead of 'planning' your meals and then just going to the store and getting the ingredients.
 
yes, I think it's important to cook nutritious foods and I tried VERY hard to feed my family 'good' food... but when the kid is hungry NOW and I had just walked in the door after spending two hours of my day commuting and those 8 at work, I'll admit that the three minute microwave pizza saved my nerves...
"We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves..." Sir Roger Bannister

Offline Ryan

  • Just another crazy runner
  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 8245
  • Karma: 11
  • 2011 Walleye Run
    • Hillrunner.com
Re: Solving the world's hunger and obesity crises together
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2010, 10:16:03 AM »
Ed, if you know of good urban gardening resources, feel free to post them. While I'm not really in an urban area, I'm taking ideas from urban gardening as well as rural gardening concepts.

We do have to balance our foods. Of course, a frozen pizza is sometimes what works best in our lives. Ed, like you, I had a frozen pizza today. On it went onions from either the CSA I'm in or the farmer's market, tomatoes from the back yard, and bell peppers from somewhere, I think the back yard.

Rita, to your first point, I think this is something that has to culturally change. Preparing and cooking a healthy meal should be the most valued skill in the household. I know it isn't always but it should be.

To your second point, some farmers are paid very poorly. Corporate farming is big money business, largely because of subsidies. What I'm saying is let's turn those subsidies around. Instead of giving subsidies that lead to huge profits for growing unhealthy food sources while we leave those growing healthy food sources scraping by, let's turn it around and give subsidies that lead to respectable profits for growing healthy food sources while leaving those growing unhealthy food sources to their own devices. This would do two things. First, it would moderate prices of food to where you don't pay a premium to buy healthy food. Second, it would encourage more farmers to grow healthy foods and discourage some from growing unhealthy foods.

As for those quick foods, sometimes they are necessary. We try to have healthy quick snacks around to hold us over until a healthy meal can be cooked but, of course, at times the quick meal is the best option. I don't think anyone is talking about banning frozen pizza, just not relying on it so heavily.

Tags: hunger obesity