Food Security Needs Attention: Murwarid Nazir Ahmed
Food is an essential aspect for survival. The number of hungry people in the world has increased over the last few years. Now, as many as one in nine people in the world goes hungry each day, and as a result suffers from malnutrition deficiencies. Food insecurity and famine are some of the biggest threats to overall health of human population.
However, the problem is not that enough foods are not being produced, rather that people lack access to food. Many people don’t have money to fulfill their requirements and purchase foods. According to the World Food Programme (WFP), countries with the highest level of food insecurity also have the highest outward migration of refugees. And while overall hunger has steadily decreased over the past decades, there has been an increase in the number of refugees who typically suffer the most from food insecurity.
Even though, approximately 11% of the world has seen a kind of decrease in obesity rate. Even it’s rising among children and adults both. Furthermore, people consume pre-packed food that is low in nutrients and high in carbs preservatives. As a result, they increase their risk of obesity. Nutritious food is often more expensive and in some areas, access to healthy food is restricted or even non-existent. When food prices rise, lower income communities have no choice but to choose pre-packaged, high-carb and high-sugar options.
Have a test out for yourself, visit your local supermarket and compare the price of a punnet of strawberries to a candy bar, which is cheaper? If you have much money, which do you choose?
The UN is working to reduce the number of hungry people to zero by 2023. But is it possible to acquire such a challengeable target? In Fiji, one of the countries with highest levels of obesity, GVI has been working to support local communities with setting up their own vegetable gardens. GVI also runs regular healthy eating and nutrition workshops in Fiji. In one of those workshops, women from local community demonstrate how to cook a nutritious meals to encourage the community to eat healthy nutrient meals.
These training opportunities enable individuals to make sustainable lifestyle changes in the community. The garden means that the community is less dependent on the ups and downs of the international market and the low production of country farmers. Community vegetable gardens can provide the alternative of a nutritious natural snack instead of a pre-packaged sugary one. Thus, each country should project gardens to be safe and healthy.
The writer is a student of Dynamic English Language Teaching Academy at Turbat.