October 16 ~ Hungry Man Vegetarian Planet

"A hungry man is not a free man." ~ Adlai Stevenson

Imagine a world without hunger...

Today is International World Food Day (WFD), which was established in 1979 to end world hunger.

With the call to "feed minds and fight hunger," over 150 countries will participate in this annual observance, to increase awareness through education and advocacy.

"We super-size our meals and never stop to see if other people are eating," said Rao Ivaturi, a nutritional expert.

"Other people" include about 200 million children under five years of age who suffer from acute or chronic malnutrition. "The man who has bread to eat," observed the Yoruba Proverb, "does not appreciate the severity of a famine."

World Food Day helps search for global solutions. The good news is that the number of hungry decreases by about 2.5 million people a year. However, with famine, natural catastrophes, and the spread of AIDS/HIV, the FAO's initial goal of cutting hunger in half by 2015 seems like a dream.

"Nations must turn verbal commitment to fight hunger into practical programmes," said Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), founded by the United Nations on this day in 1945.

Nations must provide long-term food aid, explained Charles MacCormack, CEO of Save the Children. Positive change can happen with strong agricultural programs, improved nutrition and basic health services, and support of increased school enrollment, especially for girls.

These investments, MacCormack said, "are critical to breaking the cycle of famine." According to Ability magazine, there is enough to provide 4.3 pounds of food per person daily worldwide. "The problem is that many people are too poor to buy readily available food."

Tonight, throughout the world, over 800 million people nearly one person in every seven will go to bed hungry.

Imagine a world without hunger...