Sunday, 16 October 2011
Coming from us, they’re empty words though, aren’t they? Consider the inordinate number of people who are saying those words in earnest, with little hope of getting even the smallest crust of bread or a few grains of rice to alleviate their emptiness. That’s real hunger. Needless hunger.
Governments are extremely reluctant to call a food crisis a “famine”, because it implies they have failed to stop a food shortage from turning into a major humanitarian crisis. Similarly, aid agencies tend to avoid the f-word, either because they are dependent on the state for access to the vulnerable communities, or because it implies they too have failed in their response to the food shortages.
The U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) defines famine as more than two people per 10,000 dying every day.
- alertnet.org, Food emergencies and responses
Enough food is produced globally to feed the planet but even so 925 million people go to bed hungry every night according to United Nations estimates. That’s more than the combined populations of the United States, Canada and the European Union.
Hunger not only affects people’s ability to work or study at school – it also kills more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.
- alertnet.org, What creates food crises?
Think about the implications of that definition of famine, “more than two people per 10,000 dying every day”. It doesn’t at all take into account the numbers who are chronically hungry – many on the brink of dying, more so undernourished that they are unable to be productive.
On the WFP Hunger Map 2011, the percentages of undernourished people are shown: Light Blue <5%; Yellow 5-9%; Orange 10-19%; Red 20-34% Maroon; >35%; Grey incomplete data (source: FAO: The State of Food Insecurity in the World)
According to the FAO, the number and percentage of undernourished persons for 2006-2008 are 850 million (13%) and for 2000-2002: 836 million (14%)
In 2000, world leaders agreed on the eight Millennium Development Goals. The first goal states that the percentage of undernourished people should be halved by 2015.
Hmmm, here it is only 4 years before the deadline and judging from the only one percent difference from 2000-02 and 2006-08, by 2015 the percentage of undernourished people is likely to be around 12% rather than the projected and promised 7%.
It seems the number of chronically hungry undernourished people is not really declining at all. We are not pulling our weight!
It’s not enough to make promises. We have to keep the promises.
Poppy Seed Fougasse
based on a our recipe for Poppy Seed Bread
- ¾ c lukewarm water
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ c plain yoghurt
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ c rye flour
- ½ c whole wheat flour
- 2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
- 4 Tbsp poppy seeds
- 1½ tsp seasalt
- In a smallish bowl, whisk yeast into half the water until the mixture looks creamy and set aside.
- Pour the rest of the water into a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir in yoghurt, oil, sugar and poppy seeds. Add the flours and salt (reserving about ¼ c (4 Tbsp) of the all-purpose flour for kneading) and begin stirring them in. Add the yeast mixture. Continue stirring to make a rough dough. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave for about 20 minutes.
- Put some of the leftover flour onto a wooden board. Turn the dough out and let the dough rest as you wash and dry your mixing bowl.
- Knead the dough for 10 to 15 minutes, adding tiny amounts of the remaining flour if dough is sticky. When the dough is springy and silky (in spite of the poppy seeds), it has been kneaded enough. This dough is on the soft side.
- Put the dough into the clean bowl that holds twice the volume of the dough and cover the bowl with a plate or one of those plastic showerhat things. Let the dough rise in a non-drafty area at room temperature (or in the cold oven with the light turned on if you want) until the dough has doubled. (This might take anywhere from an hour to two hours.)
- When the dough has doubled, gently deflate the dough. (To tell if it has risen enough: gently poke your finger in the top, the indention will stay.)
- Shaping: About an hour before baking the fougasse, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and press it out into an oval (or a rectangle; or a circle). Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out until it is about 1 cm (.5 in) thick.
- Sprinkle corn meal (to act as ball-bearings) on the peel – or an upside-down cookie sheet. Lay the shaped dough on the peel. Using a pizza wheel and “swift, decisive strokes” cut a design of a leaf or ladder into the dough. Take care not to cut through the outer edges. From the edges, pull the dough outwards to make sure the cuts are spaced. Cover with a clean tea towel followed by a plastic grocery bag and allow to rise. (Robertson allows the shaped bread to rise first and does the slashes at the last minute. Naturally, because of my stellar reading skills, I didn’t notice that until I had already made fougasse several times by slashing it directly after shaping it.)
- Drizzle with olive oil and scatter coarsely ground sea salt over top. (You can also do this step just after the bread is baked; that is what Robertson suggests. Or you can forget to add the olive oil at all, as I did.)
- Baking If the weather is fine or just too hot to be turning the oven on, fougasse can be baked in the barbecue. If it’s raining or just too cold and dark, of course the fougasse can be baked in a conventional oven.
- Baking in the Barbecue: Put a pizza stone over the half of the barbecue you will turn on and preheat the barbecue to high. Transfer the fougasse to the pizza stone that is sitting over direct heat. Close the lid of the barbecue and bake for about 8 minutes, rotating the stone once or twice or thrice to account for uneven heat in the barbecue (Hot Spots!!!). Then move the stone over to cook with indirect heat (lid down again) until the fougasse is done (about another 8 minutes)… our gas barbecue can be turned off on one side. Watch for hotspots and move the fougasse around to keep it from burning on one side. Because of the heat from the bottom, we like to turn the fougasse over. Just make sure to wait until the top crust is relatively well-formed.
- Baking in the Oven: Put a pizza stone on the middle or top shelf of the oven and turn it to 400F (200C). Transfer the fougasse onto the hot stone and bake for about 15-20 minutes, turning it around at least once to account for uneven oven heat. The finished fougasse will be deep gold on the bottom and gold on the top.
- When the fougasse done, remove it from the heat and allow to cool on a well-ventilated rack. To serve, break it apart and dip it into good quality olive oil with herbs or slather it with butter. It’s also delicious plain.
- recipes from OUR kitchen:
» Fougasses (BBB October 2011)
» poppy seed bread (earlier version)
» more bread
» even more bread (blog recipes)
This poppy seed fougasse was fantastic with grilled salmon and steamed broccoli drizzled with lemon juice and butter.
World Food Day is a yearly event put together by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to raise awareness and funds to feed the world’s chronically hungry.
Price swings, upswings in particular, represent a major threat to food security in developing countries. Hardest-hit are the poor. According to the World Bank, in 2010-2011 rising food costs pushed nearly 70 million people into extreme poverty. [...] On World Food Day 2011, let us look seriously at what causes swings in food prices, and do what needs to be done to reduce their impact on the weakest members of global society.
-wfp.org, Get Involved World Food Day 2011
Read more about World Food Day:
- World Food Day 2011: Get Involved
- FAO: Hunger (including World Hunger Map and FAQs)
- World Food Situation
- World Food Program: Hunger FAQs
- Telefood campaign “financing grassroot-level micro projects [to help] families and small-scale farmers communities produce more food and generate cash income, for better access to food”
- World hunger report 2011: High, volatile prices set to continue
Please note that there are impoverished and hungry people everywhere in the world. And there are many organizations attempting to feed these people. Here are just a few possibilities. Please look in your community for others:
- Daily Bread Foodbank
- Second Harvest
- Ontario Association of Food Banks
- Canadian Association of Food Banks
- World Vision (Canada):
- Action Against Hunger
- Freedom from Hunger
- The Global FoodBanking Network
- The Hunger Project “empowering women and men to end their own hunger”
- Relief Web
- World Food Program: Bloggers Against Hunger fighting hunger worldwide
And don’t forget about these sites online.
- The Hunger Site – just one click a day, donate free food
- Learn Free Vocabulary and Give Free Rice
- Test your hunger IQ – Feed a Child
World Bread Day (2011)
Bake a bread for World Bread Day!
Let’s honor the day and be grateful that we have enough food. Not all of us are this lucky. On October 16 also takes place World Food Day. October 16 is a day that should heighten our awareness of the world food problem and strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. Of course we can not solve this problem by baking a bread, but perhaps some of us will share their baked bread with someone who is not as lucky as we are.
For complete details on how to participate in World Bread Day 2011, please read the following:
Please also read about previous WBDs:
- blog from OUR kitchen posts:
» Dragon Tail Baguettes (WBD/WFD) 2010
» The Staff of Life (WBD/WFD 2008)
» Wild Bread with Walnuts and Raisins (WBD 2007)
» 2 kinds of bread for WBD 2006
- WBD roundups:
» WBD2010 (roundup) and after hours party
» WBD2009 (roundup) and after hours party
» WBD2008 (roundup) and after hours party
» WBD2007 (roundup) and after hours party
» WBD2006 (roundup)
And finally, before completing your WBD post, if you haven’t already, please read about
(As always, if you have something to add or say about ending world hunger, please remember to post your thoughts and ideas on your blog, facebook, at work, etc. etc.)