What Steps Can Individuals Take To Advance Global Food Security?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
September 26, 2009
Boy Carries Plate of Rice

More than one billion people — one sixth of the world's population — suffer from chronic hunger. Without enough food, adults struggle to work and children struggle to learn. Global food supplies must increase by an estimated 50 percent to meet expected demand in the next 20 years. Advancing sustainable agricultural-led growth increases the availability of food, keeps food affordable, and raises the incomes of the poor. The U.S. is committed to working as part of a collaborative global effort centered around country-led processes to improve food security.

What steps can individuals take to advance global food security?



September 26, 2009

Katalin in Hungary writes:

It's a good question what individuals can do? I live in Hungary, a country rich in lands available to grow fine foods. But what if the government does not support small communities? For example swine breeding is against the law. We import flesh, how does make that sense? That food is just a business too.

I think this problem could be solved, if governments took on big businesses making huge profits by trading with food.

Tennessee, USA
September 26, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Understand the problems and use our voice and not just charity to change the system to produce more effectively:

In many places where the citizens can be self sufficient, they are not due to civil unrest, genocide and war. Unstable, non democratic or socialist governments in many parts of Africa are a considerable problem.

While we tend to think of only Africa, people here are starving as well. Biblically, the story of Joseph seems to be quite valid: Where are our food stores? What have we done to secure our future needs?

The down side of capitalism worldwide is food being put to markets of highest fiscal gain, rather than best use. It is often the major reason for over consumption in one area and waste. Growing crops profitable for export, while crops that can support a local citizen base helps no one in the overview. Where one crop is inductive or natural for a country, as Pomegranates in Afghanistan, then it is to everyone's best interest...but when oranges, tomatoes and other crops are grown in Africa and shipped for profit, while people starve there, little gain is made for the average people. Self sufficiency must come first, not profit.

In the United States of America, we have people starving; yet, if you ever take the time to see how much produce, meats, poultry, seafood and past dated canned goods are put in the trash from just one supermarket, you may well rethink what's going on in the larger dynamics of enterprise related to the human capacity for survival.

Somehow we need to rethink how we distribute and control the food markets for such times and the future, for our own sake if nothing else. Farmers grow profitable crops rather than crops needed, as whole grains. Corporate farming has taken over at the cost of self sufficiency of many communities, even here in America. This is a direct result of growth in farming for profit over need.

We have all paid the price for greed in all other areas of our economy thus far; yet, we have done little to address this problem here in America -- and everyone needs to eat. No one should be hungry here, but many are. How do you think they feel to see food go elsewhere? I say this, as while it is not the DOS job to address national issues for the most part, there is a voice missing: The Poor American citizen.

The upside to solving problems now is the appearance that countries are coming together more than in the past and the political identifications of many governments, for the most part, are secondary, as President Obama is trying to establish. Markets are being developed which will help all: http://ecosystemmarketplace.com/pages/article.news.php?component_id=6934...

As an example of how important the overview can be in solving the food crisis: Chavez is hosting a Latin African summit and offering to send personal to teach farming methods.

Certainly, energy and political influence is an issue, but there is a productive side to it. Intelligence wise, Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela's oil and energy minister, stated: QUOTE: "We're working on agreements to develop refineries, boost storage capacity and cooperation on joint projects," Ramirez told reporters yesterday. "Africa and South America have 24 percent of the hydrocarbons in the world." END QUOTE.

Chavez made a statement saying the world is moving toward multi polarity acceptance -- hopefully, this is true. He took this from President Obama...maybe something good is spreading.

Andrea H.
California, USA
September 26, 2009

Andrea H. in California writes:

Buy local! Support your local farmers by shopping at farmer's markets, local food co-ops, and grow your own as much as possible - even if it is just an herb garden in your apartment. Support organic farming - if it is supported enough it will eventually be more affordable than pesticide/herbicide/GMO methods, and can possibly reduce our health care costs because we will potentially be healthier. Also, by buying local the power to make decisions remains in our communities rather than with government. Thank you for your time, Andrea

United States
September 27, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Andrea H. in California has great ideas -- if governments encouraged planting of edible plants and fruit trees and outlawed Genetically-Modified seeds as they would a criminal enterprise, food would not be a problem.

Instead of replanting useless species burned areas, why not plant fruit trees? If enough such plantings could be done, fruit would not be much of a problem.

When a relatively few corporations begin to monopolize food production, they render food a scarce commodity. Food ceases to be scarce when it becomes popular to grow our own, but people need real seeds, not the junk GMO seeds which the chemical companies want to supply to the world.

Hawaii, USA
September 28, 2009

Heather B. in Hawaii writes:

We need to advance global food security, maintain some kind of sustainable production, and also make sure the food produced will contain high nutritional value (for example, quinoa is far healthier than corn). First, prioritize foods according to their nutritional value (for example, fruit is low on this list, salmon is high). Next, assign cost of production and distribution, and also ecological impact to the priority ratings (for example, soy beans are low on these parameters, beef is high). From these three assignments, individuals may choose to substitute some foods that are both healthier and less costly than those they currently eat. Also, local governments could study the ratings to understand which foods could be produced locally to best benefit their constituencies.

Virginia, USA
September 29, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

Countries waste food in more ways than one. How many stores, resturants end up throwing away food at the end of the day, hospitals, prisons, farms who cannot sell the crops. It's truly sad when food which doesn't get sold ends up in a trashcan. If the food is not sold it can be thrown out. A simple solution to the global problem comes down to how it's packaged. Theres over 30 plus prisons in the State of Virginia and each of the prisons make their own food in the kitchen. If they had a meals ready to eat program, you wouldn't need kitchens, cut down on power resources, cut down on expensive kitchen equipment, including tools, save money on manpower including the offenders who cook the food, but this idea could be used at hospitals and schools around the world. This would also cut down on medical emergencies cost with accidents happening in kitchens around the world. Bringing down medical costs, Schools and Hospitals all use kitchens and have huge expenses when dealing with staff, with this idea, a shipment arrives, keeping it simple, then a meal package is handed out to the person instead of preparing it in the kitchen, (wasting more fuel, wasting staff and wasting money)

What I propose is ONE giant manufacture of packing a "Meals-Ready-Eat program." You ensure the meal has everything needed for one adult serving. Include a list of vitamins and minerals and how many calories on the outside of the package. This would help schools, prisons, hospitals across the world. The offender meals would be packaged different than say ones going overseas.

Then all the farmers send the crops to this manufacture and they cook, prepare the food, then package it for delivery. Using recycled material for the packaging.

Since the USAID is also trying to help medicate people in foreign countries, why not include some basic first aid packages inside the pouches of the Meals-Ready-Eat, with some instructions on how to self medicate, they eat the food, also have some additional instructions on how to farm the land. This way each package would help one person become smarter and have survival tips while they eat.

It would make sense, a child from any country in the world, opens the package, receives a delicous meal all prepared, he or she would be curious to the other pouches including tips for farming, how to put out fires, what to do in flood situations, first aid, survival tips, and throw in a prize for an accomplishment of reading the material. Maybe a toy for kids, adults packages get a comic book or something to bring high moral spirits.

This sounds alot better than getting grain or rice by the tons and doesn't really give the kids a chance at a good meal. My idea would save lives, it would also give them a better and smarter chance for survival. Instructions on how to medicate, and include first aid packages. Tips like washing hands, using soap, how to desalt the water for drinking, using charcoal, and other valuable tips to help people.

The State Department should consider taking up a FOOD Aid Drive and a TOY AID Drive since Christmas is around the corner. How many people in the USA can donate toys, books, clothes to help others in the world.

Then ship it directly to the countries in need of supplies.

Godbless the world!

Florida, USA
September 29, 2009

Justin in Florida writes:

The world needs free birth control. If you can't feed them, don't breed them!

Wisconsin, USA
September 29, 2009

Joseph in Wisconsin writes:

I think that the U.S. is doing a great job at feeding the people that are in need. More wealthy people need donate money to these programs.

Tennessee, USA
October 1, 2009

O'Brien in Tennessee writes:

You are externalizing the question, a form of twisting reality...politics.

....it is too late:

1. Governments will not let the needy be self sufficient, both internally and externally.

2. People don't change other people and Governments can no longer change other governments without damaging the base economic groups trying to be helped, be it by war or sanctions.

3. The reference to the Wealthy is poor one, as they already are supporting more in their general existence and often give more or work diligently for contributions. A lot of American and foreign jobs are created supporting their life styles, like it or not.

The rich are not evil, governments are, as they permit or not restrict activities of the greedy. No more, no less.

I believe there was one person who mentioned part of this in another reference: Governments have to alter methodology. Nothing else will work, everything else is temporary or band aids...

October 1, 2009

Russell writes:

Governments must agree that food is no longer a commodity but what a necessity. Food should be viewed as means to support life, not a lifestyle. But what do I know?

Tennessee, USA
October 2, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Food is only one commodity in a list of control elements over any populace.

The concept of applying it as a commodity is to control the price and distribution of product as well as create or ruin markets.

Even the use of food as a passive weapon for security purposes is a control function.

Everyone knows it's a necessity!

The application of fulfillment, without restrictions, should be a primary governmental fulfillment for any Democratic or Socialistic Government, but what do I know?

United States
October 2, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

The first step is to outlaw laboratory experimental genetically-modified organisms from the stream of commerce.

Read the research papers and you will understand that GMO foods threaten the entire human race.

Doctors Warn: Avoid Genetically Modified Food

By Jeffrey M. Smith

On May 19th, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called on Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.

They called for a moratorium on GM foods, long-term independent studies, and labeling.

AAEM's position paper stated, "Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food, including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system."

They conclude, "There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation, as defined by recognized scientific criteria. The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies."

More and more doctors are already prescribing GM-free diets. Dr. Amy Dean, a Michigan internal medicine specialist, and board member of AAEM says, "I strongly recommend patients eat strictly non-genetically modified foods," Ohio allergist Dr. John Boyles says "I used to test for soy allergies all the time, but now that soy is genetically engineered, it is so dangerous that I tell people never to eat it."

Dr. Jennifer Armstrong, President of AAEM, says, "Physicians are probably seeing the effects in their patients, but need to know how to ask the right questions."

World renowned biologist Pushpa M. Bhargava goes one step further. After reviewing more than 600 scientific journals, he concludes that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are a major contributor to the sharply deteriorating health of Americans.


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