I don’t know why this batch of bread ended up so flat. Did I let it rise too much before shaping it? But it’s still bread and it’s good. And we’re thankful that we have it.
And how fortunate are we? We gather around our Thanksgiving tables, happily sharing the traditional feast. And we are thankful. We might even stop to briefly think about less fortunate hungry people in the world. And then because it makes us a little bit uncomfortable, we quickly jump up to get a second helping.
Let’s face it. Many of us don’t even know what hunger means.
How sad it is that in this world that CAN feed everyone, there are still huge numbers who do know what hunger means. Some of them many never know anything else, with little hope of getting even the smallest crust of bread or a few grains of rice, let alone the rest of the ingredients that go into our Thanksgiving feasts and our every day bountiful tables.
Yes, they know what hunger means. How unfair is that?
[F]amines have occurred in Asia and Africa without a large drop in food production and availability. Sometimes a famine has even coincided with a peak in food production, as in the Bangladesh famine of 1974, in which as many as 1.5 million people may have died. […]
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. […] The U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines famine as more than two people per 10,000 dying every day
– alertnet.org, Food emergencies and responses
Ultimately, the main reason why most people are unable to feed themselves is not that food is unavailable but they cannot afford it.
But poverty also reduces food output. Many African farmers produce small harvests because they lack irrigation and fertilisers. Africa has the lowest fertiliser usage in the world – a measure of how its farmers are simply unable to afford the inputs used by their developed world counterparts. […]
Rising global food prices affect people’s ability to buy enough to feed their families. Not surprisingly, the hardest hit are the poorest – especially the urban poor, who can spend as much as 80 percent of their income on food.
– 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”. This does not at all take into account the numbers who are chronically hungry – not quite on the brink of dying, as well as the many who are so undernourished that they are unable to be productive.
On the WFP Hunger Map 2012, the percentages of undernourished people are shown: Light Green <5%; Light Orange 5-14%; Orange 15-24%; Red 25-34%; Maroon >35%; Grey no data. (please see: FAO: The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2013, FAO: Hunger Portal and WFP: Where Hunger Meets Climate Change)
According to the FAO, the number and percentage of undernourished persons for 2000-2002 were 957 million (15%), 878 million (13%) for 2008-2010, and 842 million (12%) for 2011-2013.
In 16 countries, undernourishment estimates for 2011-2013 either point to a lack of progress or a deterioration of food security conditions since 1990-92. Nine of these countries are in sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the highest prevalence of undernourishment and where only modest progress has been made in recent years.
– FAO, Hunger Portal, Hunger Map 2013
It appears that the number of chronically hungry, undernourished people is not declining very much at all. Clearly, we well-nourished people are not pulling our significant weight!
It’s not enough to make promises. We have to keep the promises.
But no matter how much it rises, everybody should be able to have bread every day.
For a while, I was getting really tired of making sandwich bread. It was just too much the same as itself. But that’s what we like about the finished bread. So now, to keep my mind alive, I always change the dry ingredients just a little. The constants are unbleached all-purpose flour and a smaller amount of whole wheat flour. For the loaves pictured at the top of the page, I added a little ground flax seed and a handful of rolled oats. We think maybe the dough overrose a little before being shaped, causing them to turn out to be on the flat side.
Then yesterday, I decided to make really lean sandwich bread, using only flour (unbleached all-purpose and a small amount of whole wheat), water, salt and yeast. Those loves popped like crazy in the oven.
Flat or popped, they were still wonderful.
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.
World Food Day, 16 October 2013
Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition
Today almost 870 million people worldwide are chronically undernourished. Unsustainable models of development are degrading the natural environment, threatening ecosystems and biodiversity that will be needed for our future food supply.
A food system is made up of the environment, people, institutions and processes by which agricultural products are produced, processed and brought to consumers.
Every aspect of the food system has an effect on the final availability and accessibility of diverse, nutritious foods – and therefore on consumers’ ability to choose healthy diets. What is more, policies and interventions on food systems are rarely designed with nutrition as their primary objective.
Addressing malnutrition requires integrated action and complementary interventions in agriculture and the food system, in natural resource management, in public health and education, and in broader policy domains.
What would a sustainable food system look like? Is it possible to get from here to there? What would need to change to move us in that direction? World Food Day 2013 is an opportunity to explore these and other questions, and help bring about the future we want.
-wfp.org, Get Involved World Food Day 2013
Read more about World Food Day:
- World Food Day 2013: Get Involved
- FAO: Hunger (including World Hunger Map and FAQs)
- World Food Situation
- World Food Program: Hunger FAQs
- World hunger report 2013: Global hunger down, but millions still chronically hungry
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 – How much do you know about zerohunger?
World Bread Day (2013)
Coinciding with World Food Day, Zorra (1x umrühren bitte) is once again hosting World Bread Day. She wrote:
Since 2006 every year hundreds of bloggers from all around the world bake bread for this special day.
So let’s do it again:
Bake a loaf of bread and let the world know about it by blogging it on World Bread Day – October 16!
The idea of World Bread is to honor our daily bread and be grateful that we have sufficient food. Not all of us are this lucky.
I’m looking forward to see a huge basket filled with at least 365 breads from all over the world again!
For complete details about World Bread Day 2013, please read the following:
Please also read about previous WBDs:
- blog from OUR kitchen posts:
» Russian Roses for World Bread Day (BBB October 2012) WBD/WFD 2012
» Give us this day our daily bread (WBD/WFD 2011)
» 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:
» World Bread Day
And finally, before completing your WBD post, if you haven’t already, please read about
- BYOB: Bake Your Own Bread (Scroll down to “Monthly Link up Summary” at the bottom of the post)
(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.)