Sunday, October 9, 2011

Blog Action Day - Food For Thinking

Illustration via Guru's Feet
Food. Is there any topic more tempting and more wholesome and yet more ripe for argument and controversy?

Right now, people are eating at home, on the run, or in cafes. And people are also starving to death. Some are advocating for a meat-free diet and some are talking about choosing food on the basis of the type of energy you want to encourage in your body.  Some are trying to reduce the amount of food they eat, while others are trying different combinations to better control their health. Many will shop for organic food and others will shop as they may because they can't afford the extra cost of organic. There will be arguments for and against genetically modified food and there will be other arguments about the benefits of raw foods. In one house, someone will be throwing away spoiled food from their filled-to-capacity refrigerator and someone else will be looking at a refrigerator that is nearly bare and wondering what to feed the children. And somewhere, someone will get food poisoning.

All this is happening at the same moment on the same planet.

What we eat and how we eat it are influenced by the society in which we live and the family into which we were born. Home-cooking means different things to nearly everyone. As a kid, I spent a lot of time in donut shops and greasy-spoon diners with my mom, who couldn't cook. I always got plenty to eat with my dad, though he couldn't cook, either. But at least he didn't burn the TV dinners. For years, comfort food to me meant a Swanson Turkey dinner with peas.

Food is about more than what we eat, though. It's also about where we get it, who grows it or catches it, and even how it is killed and what may be killed along with it by accident. There is another question that is gaining importance as the world population climbs closer and closer to 9 billion - how long will it last? What are we eating now that, in a few years, won't be available? What will happen to the people who sell that food to buy their own?

Most of the time, we think of food in an individual way - what we like and don't like; what we want at the moment or for next week; what we crave that we know will make us fat or ruin our arteries.

In the world before most of us moved to the cities for work, we knew our food. We lived with it on the farms and in our back gardens. It was part of our daily life. It still is.

Today, I'm asking you to take a few minutes and think about food in your life and in the lives of others. Think about what you eat and what you serve. Think  about what you prepare with your own hands and what others prepare for you. Food fuels action. How does it fuel yours?

Food for Thought:

Genetically Modified Food
Modern Meat
Food Borne Illnesses
Understanding Food Cravings
Food or Fuel for the Winter?

Food Nonprofits:

Food Day USA
World Food Day
Feeding America
Closed on Mondays
The Hunger Site
Farmers Feeding the World

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