Blog Action Day 2011 - #BAD11 #Food

This is my first year of participating in Blog Action Day. This year’s theme is food. I wanted to join & write a post about it, because I’ve been struggling with food & eating since I was 10 years old. (Now I’m 17) I always was a skinny girl. Maybe too skinny. Most of the people always said: “OMG why are you so skinny?” or “OMG why don’t you eat more?” or “OMG are you anorexic?!” NO! I’m not. And this was the worst thing, what people said to me. They thought just becuase I was skinny, I had eating disorders..etc. But if you have looked at my mom, you would have seen that thinnes is in my genes! Everytime my friends or my classmates were talking about weights, I always went away, because I was ashamed of myself, my weight. I ate a lot. Not every day, but I ate well. Once when I was out with my friend, she even said: “Omg you ate ALL of it yet you’re skinny!" I hate weating t-shirts, beacuse then people could see my skinny arms. I hated PE (well I still hate it, but for a different reason), because I had to wear shorts, so people could see my thiny legs. I hated summer, I hated wearing bikinis. But now I accepted myself. This is who I am. I’ll never be a puffy girl. Maybe I’m too skinny, but now I’m trying to eat healthily and regulalry. And if people don’t like how I look like, then I’m sorry.

Another importand thing the starvation in Africa. It hurts to see people & mostly KIDS starving & how skinny they are. In developed countires, moms pack sandwiches & fruit for their kids, who go to school. Some of the kids buy a more delicous sandwich at their school canteen & they just throw their home-made sandwich. Please if you don’t like what your mom packs for you, then just ask her to stop it. Because millions of kids starving in Africa and you’re lucky enough not to know how bad it is, but please don’t waste the food! You make a sandwich at home for yourself. A sandwich what you love and you want to eat and then you can safe your pucket money. And one day in year or a month you can donate your pucket money for UNICEF or some other organisation. For you it’s just one day without junk food or whatever you would have wanted to buy, but for a kid in Africa it’s the survival. Please think about it!

Organisations, where you can donate:

Be the change you want to see in the world!


p.s. sorry for my grammar mistakes, English is not my first language.

Are you hungry? No? 925 million others are #BAD 11

This is my entry to Blog Action Day 2011. BAD has focused bloggers around the world to blog about one important global topic on the same day. And they have been doing it since 2007. This years topic is FOOD.

There are about 7 billion people in the world, of which an estimated 925 million are undernourished. That is almost 1 in every 7 people. This is something to Think about.

This is not because the world doesn’t produce enough food to feed everyone, infact, World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today that it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. The problem is money and access to land.

If you want more facts and figures just google, it’s everywhere, but not many are doing anything about it.

Are you hungry? No? 925 million others are #BAD 11

This is my entry to Blog Action Day 2011. BAD has focused bloggers around the world to blog about one important global topic on the same day. And they have been doing it since 2007. This years topic is FOOD.

There are about 7 billion people in the world, of which an estimated 925 million are undernourished. That is almost 1 in every 7 people. This is something to Think about.

This is not because the world doesn’t produce enough food to feed everyone, infact, World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today that it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. The problem is money and access to land.

If you want more facts and figures just google, it’s everywhere, but not many are doing anything about it.

Africa's Last Famine

By Tekiah Jones

I’ve been watching a show, Africa’s Last Famine, about farmers in the horn of Africa who are facing famine, or in danger of damaged crops. This season, the rains failed, triggering the worst drought in 60 years. 13 million people were affected, 1.8 million Somalis were displaced. Farmers are who weren’t effected, are trying to prepare for next time.

One farmer struck me, Medhin Reda, a female farmer in Adi Ha, Ethiopia. She grows teff,  the staple ingredient in a common bread in Ethiopia, injera. She was worried about whether the rain will continue to regularly fall, or will it stop. If it stops, then her crops will fail and her livelihood, will be in danger. One fail of harvest, and she could sink deeper into poverty.

World Food Hunger Day is just around the corner, this years theme is food- from crisis to stability. While it’s still expensive to farm, it costs less to manage risks than to manage a crisis, if one should hit. To give farmers like Medhin stability if her crops should fail, there’s a new program too ensure her. Rural Resilience Initiative provides compensation for failure, if there is a drought or flood, and encourages farmers to save and provides them with what many in the US take for granted, insurance. They give them confidence in that they will be covered, when they need it most. Farmers who can’t afford to pay the insurance in cash, are allowed to work on community projects, improving the local agriculture. When they are insured, farmers can grow businesses and keep their children in school.

This is the greatest news I’ve heard all week. Farmers being insured if there is a drought? That’s an excellent way for them to stay stable even if there is a disruption. That’s definitely rerouting the way that a disaster can be viewed and conquered. Now that’s a revolution.

Blog Action Day and Occupations

I want to encourage you to do something about the fact that there are thousands of people dying from a famine in East Africa. But I’m not going to talk about better seeds, training for farmers, and access to markets. Undoubtedly these things these things could help farmers increase production to offset the damage done by protracted doubt.

Instead I think we should all be talking about fincial market reforms.

I’m writing this today because it is Blog Action Day 2011, a day when anyone with a blog tries to sway readers to get involved in a topic of urgent importance to the world, and this year’s theme is food. But it is also the day of ongoing protests and occupations - with people around the world occupying ground near the world’s largest financial centres to protest the way financial institutions have managed to manipulate the global economy for the benefit of a very few at the cost of the majority (the 99%).

Picture from the protest today at Occupy London:

image

Here is why I think these occupations - which I hope result in reforms and regulations on financial markets - have the potential to help feed the hungry of the world.

First, let’s start at looking at why deregulated commodities markets do for the price and supply of a good.

Our example will be the energy market in California in 2000-2001. You can get the full run down from Wikipedia, but long story short: the market was deregulated and companies were allowed to trade energy in order to maximise profit, where previously they supplied to meet demand to the cost of some potential profits. The result was that companies like Enron created an artificial short fall in energy supply in order to increase prices. There were rolling blackouts across the state, and people were paying more than ever for their electricity. 

Obviously this is a bad thing. Deregulated markets work really well for supplying things that people don’t need - not everyone needs to see movies, and theatres are able to charge a ticket price that maximises their profit. But for things that everyone needs, like electricity to keep warm in the winter or food, markets need to be regulated in such a way as to ensure that every consumer is having at least some of their demand met. There is still room for some profits from those people who demand steak for dinner or want to leave the TV on all day, but for the most basic of needs need to be met no matter someone’s ability to pay. 

What we’re seeing right now in the food commodities market is like what Enron did to California and what movie theatres do for ticket prices. Traders and speculators are working to maximise profits, but the result is that some people don’t have their basic need met. The result is that some of the world’s poorest people are starving to death as they can’t afford to pay the prices that maximise commodities trader’s profits.

After the global financial meltdown in 2008, I hoped that for reforms on the financial sector to ensure that profit maximisation wouldn’t kill people. But this hasn’t happened, so along with the other changes the occupiers hope to achieve, I hope that we’ll see market regulations that ensure that no one is allowed to profit from driving up prices to a point that it denies some people of their basic needs.

Water Supplies

In the spirit of Blog Action Day ‘11.

I’ve recently become victim of a parasitic infection from contaminated water while doing medical work in Ghana, where the tapped water is considered unsanitary nationwide.

The main source of water which I’ve been ingesting, brushing my teeth, washing my face with, etc - are these water sachets:

They’re kind of neat, you just rip a corner with your teeth and sip away. However, anyone else who studies public health can understand the immense hesitation I had towards these, and why I’ve been biting hand sanitizer soaked corners for the majority of my stay in Ghana.

Anyway, it turns out the water inside of these things is even more concerning.

The Ghana Medical Journal has this to say regarding water sachets:

"Seventy-seven percent of the samples contained infective stages of pathogenic parasitic organisms. Common pathogens identified include, Microsporidia sp 14/27 (51.2%), Cryptosporidium parvum 17/27 (63.0%), Cyclospora cayetenensis 16/27 (59.3%), Sarcocystis sp. 18/27 (66.7%). Rotifers 5/27 (18.5%), and Charcoat Leyden crystals 12/27 (44.4%). Ninety-three percent of the samples contained unidentified impurities/artifacts. 29.6% of the samples contained at least one type of parasite, 14.8% contained at least 2 types of parasites, 25.9% contained at least three types of parasites, while 29.6% contained four types of parasites.” (Kwakye-Nuako, Borketey, Mensah-Attipoe & Asmah, 2007)

Just like everywhere in the world, it’s not always safe to trust packaged water. Having sanitized water sources should always be a high level development goal.

So this parasite totally kicked my ass. I’ve been shooting in the dark with a few kinds of broad spectrum antibiotics, and drinking only water that I’ve used my chemical purification kit on and I’m getting much better.

Sorry I used my food-related blog action day post to let out angst over being sick… but shit guys… bad water totally fucked me up in the short time I’ve been here. Look at all the horrible infectious parasites that are in the main drinking water source for all Ghanians.

Source:

Kwakye-Nuako, G., Borketey, P., Mensah-Attipoe, , & Asmah, R. (2007). Sachet drinking water in Accra: the potential threats of transmission of enteric pathogenic protozoan organisms. Ghana Medical Journal, 42(2), 62-67. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1976297/

Raw Milk and the Grassroots Food Movement

image

What’s nutritious, possibly dangerous, and illegal in all but 25 states? The answer is raw milk, and it’s at the heart of the grassroots food movement and a regulatory controversy.

In technical terms, “raw” milk is unpasteurized–it hasn’t been heated to kill pathogens. That might sound crazy (and maybe it is), but the issue has two sides. Yes, pasteurization kills bacteria that can cause tuberculosis, salmonella, and other nasty diseases. However, fans of raw milk claim that the heating process also wipes out beneficial proteins and enzymes that promote digestive health and strengthen the immune system.

How does this fit into green culture? First, raw milk…

Read more…

[Image: Adrian Boliston]

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

Today is World Food Day and consequently Blog Action Day

Today, I shall talk about bread. The joy of fresh baked bread, because I think that only when we truly appreciate food do we fully realize its grand importance.

Breakfast

This morning I awakened late on the coast. Cool, sea breeze air seeped in through the cracks of the house as I breathed in its traffic-free vitality. Down the steep staircase I was greeted with quite the spread; croissants, raisin bread, juice, chocolate paste, jam, kiwis and more laid in wait of my breakfast appetite. Scrumptious. Lined up with the croissants were bags of fresh bread straight from the local baker. In Belgium the art of baking, and the near-Biblical necessity of the daily bread run, is alive and well.

The joy of bread buying.

I now joyfully buy bread daily. Indeed, I have not bought pre-sliced bread since my arrival. As a result, all of my bread now goes stale in a day or two (and I can not help being a little bit worried that grocery store bread back in the US lasted a lot longer.) But the fun is in the pairing. Each day we choose what we will want: Will it be pumpkin bread with seeds for an autumn dinner, or maybe a baguette to double for spaghetti tonight and a sandwich tomorrow? Perhaps some pistoles for chicken curry or to join a ham sandwich in the morning. Cleverly, if in the end our bread does go stale, my boyfriend is quick to make fresh croutons for caesar salad or bruschetta for an appetizer. 

Bread. It is simple, it is scrumptious and in Belgium - it is still a daily art. 

World Food Day

The Biblical phrase of “Our Daily Bread” can mean so much more than just physical food, but today that is my focus. As I appreciate the options available to me at the local baker, I also think about those who do not even have an oven or must make flour from wheat themselves. Bread and other basic food stuffs are still scarce for many people around the world. Enter the hashtag #BAD11 in twitter, tumblr or your favorite social networking site today to read about issues and commentary concerning food in our world. Take a moment to learn about World Food Day.

Chicken and chicken abortions

I used to like chicken and chicken abortion a.k.a. eggs but when I got allergies because of it, I stopped liking it. Funny, but I started cursing chickens. My cousin even calls me chicken, which sucks. I don’t really like the idea that I have allergies because of something I used to love.

Uhm, wohkay but last summer, I got a trauma ‘cause of chicken. I even had to wear sweater on the first day of school. You know that feeling that I don’t want to see my skin, not even touch it. I used to cry the whole day ‘cause of it. I felt like I was having psychological problem that I started to think that I might die because of that fucking allergies. Fact today is, I hate looking at bubbles now. Little bubbles, really, no, please. 

But I hope, that I’ll be prone to it but it’s been so long since I have eaten chicken. HAHAHA

Watch on justcris.tumblr.com

Video campaign of One.org for the faith against Famine.

The ugly reality of famine

Food is something that lots of us take for granted. We have it so easily that we don’t worry about it. We might complain about the prices, about the quality, but worrying about how to get food for the next meal is not the reality for most people reading this post. But it is the reality for millions of people in our world today.

According to the latest Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) statistics, there are 925 million hungry people in the world and 98 percent of them are in developing countries. Almost 1 billion people!

In the Horn of Africa alone, a region that is experiencing the worst drought of the last 60 years, 13 million people are in desperate need for food. Thirty thousand children died in the first 3 months of the drought. It is beyond tragic.

The good news is that you can make a difference in those people’s lives. Let me say it again: YOU can make a difference. And it’s easier than you might think.

Continue reading…

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