Preventing a famine and more on giant carrots

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You know that old saying about “give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day, but teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime?” Well, Oxfam.com had a good article making that exact point.

Apparently, since the Ethiopian famine of 1984 (think “We Are The World’), when over a million people died, the main way we have been giving aid (and the U.S. gives a ton of it) is through food that we ship over there.

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The result is a system that reacts to famines instead of preventing them. The article goes on to say while, certainly, aid to people in need on the ground is crucial, such as the aid given to Somalis right now, it is more pragmatic, cost-effective, and, ultimately useful to set up programs which help drought-prone places fend of famine to begin with. The reality: doesn’t have to = famine. This kind of “preparedness” means doing  like helping build safe wells and storage, supporting local farmers and that kind of thing. It’s a really good article that I think makes a great point.

For your perusal: here it is.  Also, on that page you can find a link for donations. Oxfam is an amazing group.

I also just read that there was a big conference about food in Rome and that one of the main topics was how to handle the influx of population over the years when it comes to, you know, feeding people. There’s a debate over whether it’s good or bad – sustainable or not- to focus on genetically altered food. It doesn’t seem like there’s a consensus. There’s a school of thought that says it’s not bad, in fact, like the “green” revolution of the 60s-70s where there were big strides increasing production, “GA” food is a key to feeding the world. On the other hand, other people say small and organic is the way to go and that old solutions can’t be slapped onto new issues.

Here’s that article too, for your viewing pleasure.

Man, I don’t know how many people are reading this (that’s a lie, I check my stats five times a day lol), but personally, I’m finding this month so far very informative and fun even!

I don’t have a position on GA food myself, gotta learn more. Some of those huge strawberries at shaws are a little scary, but then again, they’re delicious! I dig this idea of working to avoid famine. Seems very common sensical. Though, gotta learn more about that, too.  So, Genetically altered food, famine preparedness, Oxfam, and the WFP. Stuff to read more on.

Now how bout a moment of twin?

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2 thoughts on “Preventing a famine and more on giant carrots

  1. Wow, this is a big topic, one that I can never totally wrap my brain around.

    There are too many starving people; prevention such as wells, storage, irrigation can make a world of difference. Better water & sanitation keeps people healthy too. Unsexy diarrhea is a top killer in many countries; clean water prevents many cases.

    Can’t say I’ve followed it closely, however, US Food aid is super controversial. Along with GMO and pesticides, there are many questions re how such aid should work. CARE, a huge NGO, left the business in 2007, protesting inefficiencies and concerned that end users were hurt more than helped. http://www.cgdev.org/content/article/detail/14286
    Others believe the juice is well worth the squeeze.
    Apparently Hillary/ State is thinking about food security these days too. http://www.modernizingforeignassistance.org/blog/2009/10/01/state-releases-more-on-food-security-initiative/

  2. Hey, I figured I’d post but don’t feel as if you should fast on my account. I think donating to help feed the hungry is an awesome idea. I’ve determined that for myself, I prefer to donate food/money to the local food banks so that I know people are actually getting the food. World hunger is such an overwhelming idea filled with so many stories of corruption that I figured my “drop in the bucket” would be to help my neighbors.

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