Thursday, October 16, 2008

World Food Day

Yesterday might have been Blog Action Day, but today is World Food Day.

I had intended to address the issue of poverty for Blog Action Day, but then I read this post. The author pretty much summed up my own thoughts on the matter, and way more succinctly than I ever could. So, if you want to know how I feel about the relative importance of poverty - go read his post.

While World Food Day is a yearly event sponsored by the United Nations and NGOs around the world, I want to focus more on what Christians can do to alleviate the food problems that our world experiences.

First, if you are a member of a Southern Baptist Church, a portion of your offerings are given to the Cooperative Program, which has a World Hunger fund. The money in this fund is "available to Southern Baptist missionaries to meet food-related needs such as assisting people with receiving food, buying food, growing food and/or using food properly." What I think is particularly important to note about this fund, and the way it differs from other food projects, is that it has "an intentional spiritual strategy [to] share the Gospel (loving God)."

Second, Christians can also make choices about the foods they eat as a way to help world hunger. You might wonder, "how are my dietary decisions important to a hungry Russian?" Well, if you choose to eat simple foods and reduce the cost of your grocery bill, you will have more money to send to those who are working to alleviate hunger. There are several Christian organizations working to fight hunger. Ask your pastor about ones that your church already supports, or visit World Vision and make a donation to them.

Third, read stories about women like Esther. Esther lives in Zambia and feeds her grandchildren a drink made from roots and sour fruit because her crops were destroyed in a flood. Reading stories like hers will help you understand in your heart that this problem affects real people and not just statistics.
Esther knows that the lives of her grandchildren are at risk, but she feels powerless to help. "I simply have nowhere to run to…where do I go and what should I do for these children to survive?" wonders a worried Esther.

Her neighbors echo her cries of concern. Many children have dropped out of school to search for food. Others have turned to early marriages or prostitution, raising fears that the prevalence of HIV and AIDS will increase.
As you can see, a lack of food can lead to drastic measures. We should all pray that girls around the world are never forced to sell their bodies so their family can eat.

1 comment:

  1. It is true that making less expensive eating choices frees up money we could use to help the hungry. But, there are also other ways our dietary decisions affect those suffering from hunger.

    The amount of energy required to produce foods higher on the food chain is greater than producing foods lower on the food chain. If we used foods lower on the chain, we'd have many times more food available, and that should mean fewer hungry people.

    As one ecology site puts it: "If we all ate corn, there would be enough food for 10x as many of us as compared to a world where we all eat beef (or chicken, fish, pork, etc.).... Of course, it's not quite that simple, but you get the general idea."

    You can also see another website that details how the choice of which fish to eat makes a difference, as some fish are higher on the food chain (i.e., have higher trophic levels).

    Here's the easy way to think about:
    Eating a plant is best.
    Eating something that eats only plants (e.g., chicken or beef) is not as good.
    Eating something that eats other animals (shark or alligator) is worst.


Thanks for commenting! Be sure to leave an email address in your profile or in your comment if you'd like a reply.