Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Oct 16, 2011
Today is Blog Action Day, and the topic is food, or lack thereof. To preface this, it’s kind of a worldwide event where there will be lots of bloggers talking about this particular subject. I don’t quite remember how it all works, but I think there will be a central place where everyone that writes on the topic will be listed so they can connect with each other in some fashion. You’d think I would remember since I’ve done this in the past, but I skipped last year for some reason. No matter; I’m back now.
As the price of food has gone up pretty much everywhere around the world, we find that not only are most of us not getting out of our dollars the amount of food and consumables we’ve gotten before, but places such as the Food Bank, which helps feed those who need meals, along with many other charities, are suffering. The strange thing is that even now, the United States produces enough food to feed the world many times over, yet we don’t do it. Why?
I think a major part of it, at least in this country, is regulation. Restaurants really aren’t allowed to donate food unless they cook it fresh. Probably almost every restaurant in the country has food it has to throw away instead of donating it to a shelter that could use it the next day. I know that food court restaurants throw out a lot of food. Many years ago, when I worked a part time job at a gas station that had a retail store, at a certain time of the night we had to throw away food. Sometimes I’d eat a couple of things, but that was rare; however, it was a free meal, and I’m thinking it was still pretty good and thus could have been donated in some fashion.
When it comes to the world… well, that’s a different thing entirely. We have tariffs to deal with that help some countries compete when they’d probably lose out to richer nations, and we have some countries with high tariffs just “because”. Then we have countries like Somalia where, if we try to get them food, the powers that be, with their corrupt selves, keep it for the leadership, and won’t allow help to come into the country to make sure the food gets to those who really need it.
Goodness, countries like India, which is fairly industrialized, have problems getting food to many of its people, and when you have a billion people hanging around, that’s not good. I hear that there are parts of China and North Korea where the same things occur. I guess it would make sense since even in the United States we find people all over who can’t get a meal. Sure, some aren’t looking to help themselves, but I’m thinking that’s not the most compassionate way of looking at things.
On this Blog Action Day I use my blog to highlight the issue, whether I fully know all the implications or not. People are starving, and if all you can do is the same thing I do, that being to ask the people at the counter of our local grocery store to swipe the little ticket that’s next to the cash register so I can donate a tiny bit of cash that will feed someone, then at least do that. It all helps.