Sight Magazine – Essay: Simple Steps to Change the World
- BEN EVANS
Today is the anniversary of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, an organization that works with governments to mobilize an international response to disasters at the national level. Celebrated as World Food Day since 1979, it’s a reminder that I truly live in a lucky country and that I have the opportunity – well, I would say a biblical responsibility – to share my generosity with those less fortunate. .
This year FAO wants us all to ‘get involved’ and has highlighted a few simple things we can do right now that are having a ripple effect for us and the world we live in. FAO calls for “better products, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all”.
Provide food aid in Uganda. PHOTO: Feed The Hungry / Good News Uganda
This is important work because right now they estimate that a third of the food produced in the world today will in fact be lost and never consumed.
It is tragic that over 800 million people around the world suffer from chronic hunger. That’s a staggering number, that’s over 30 times the total population of Australia! Can you imagine, 30 of your closest friends right now going to bed hungry tonight because they didn’t have enough food?
“It is tragic that over 800 million people in the world suffer from chronic hunger. It is a staggering number, it is more than 30 times the total population of Australia! Can you imagine, 30 of your closest friends right now, going to bed hungry tonight because they didn’t have enough food? “
The mental battle would be intense and relentless, with no real hope that tomorrow would be better. I have seen this situation all over the world. I have met children who literally pray: “Our Father in heaven … give us today our daily bread.
Still, there are two simple actions you and I can take to help alleviate their issues. Small steps that will have a ripple effect to improve their lives.
First, with 14% of food lost in production due to improper harvesting, handling, storage and transit, you can help by shopping smarter. Just consider – that the cheapest product on the market – could actually cause the most damage to the environment.
By supporting companies that practice ethical and sustainable business practices, you will create a ripple effect that will benefit primary producers. Make it a goal that choosing the cheapest choice is only temporary and not the default choice in your future.
Second, that thing you dreaded mom saying at the dinner table growing up is actually true – 17% of the food lost in the world is just leftovers, thrown in the trash because it’s not eaten and unwanted. .
You can therefore help reduce food waste by choosing a healthy diet that also includes whole foods. Whole foods will not only be good for you personally, but the farming practices around this type of product tend to have the least impact on the environment and are therefore better for the primary producer. Even though the product is slightly more expensive, the fact that you consume most of it helps you value what you consume.
I’m a bit of a sci-fi nerd, and I particularly like time travel stories. One of the common tropes is the idea that you have to be careful when going into the past because if you step on a butterfly it could have repercussions that would fundamentally change your present.
Someone joked on the internet “Why doesn’t the ‘butterfly effect’ motivate us to make small changes today, to improve our future?” I think about it a lot now. It’s a deep concept and an encouragement for me to make the changes I want to see in the world.
Case in point: if we could reduce food loss in production (14%) and consumer waste (17%) to zero today, we could use this extra food to feed two billion people. That’s twice the number of people who are chronically hungry right now!
It’s an indication that there is enough food in the world, it’s just in the wrong place.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:13 that we are to be “the salt of the earth”. Now I understand that means I can add flavor to the world around me and, if I think about it, I also remember that salt was used to preserve meats and other foods for harsh winters.
Consider that in Biblical times, salt was considered such a valuable commodity that it could be used as part of your salary. So, you could say that Jesus asks you to add value to your neighbor, or to put it another way – to find a way to be of service to your neighbor.
I think supporting better business practices and reducing your personal waste are two easy ways to help your neighbor.
Ben Evans is the CEO of Feed The Hungry Australia.