Today, October 16, is the observation of World Food Day. Although modern society is fully capable of eliminating hunger and fueling sustainable development, more than one in eight people is undernourished. How is this possible?
Of the more than 800 million hungry people in the world, 70 percent of them live in rural areas. Agriculture is the economic mainstay in such places, but the economic odds are stacked against small local farmers. That’s where co-ops come in; according to World Food Day organizers (and practically everyone else involved in the conversation), “in agriculture, forestry, fishing and livestock [co-ops], members participate in production, profit-sharing, cost-saving, risk-sharing and income-generating activities, which lead to better bargaining power for members as buyers and sellers in the marketplace.” Buying local produce that’s in season also helps tremendously (and it’s nutritionally better for you too).
Another easy way to make a difference, go vegan for a day, a week, whatever. Resources used to feed farm animals could be used to grow crops that directly feed hungry people.
The World Food Day Website has lots more information on how you can help out! I wonder if I can find a farmer in NYC to hug?