Unlike Oliver Twist, most of us live fortunate lives because food, glorious food is everywhere. Hey, there is even a television network dedicated to food and only food, with its huge stable of celebrity chefs and famous restaurants. How many pasta recipes are there? And our supermarkets bombard us with an endless variety of food products, including plenty of junk. Without a doubt we are surrounded by food so who will believe that our food system is in need of some serious repair?
Food is a big part of our day to day enjoyment. A good meal is always a pleasure especially when shared with a few friends and good conversation. Table conversations tend to start with the yumminess of the food (obviously). This can lead to issues of food quality and food freshness and food nutrition and sometimes food distance – Do you adhere to the 100 mile diet?
Oxfam wants to open up a different kind of Table Talk. After sharing a good meal that is sourced locally and celebrates fair trade (How tough is that?) we want to talk about the big food picture.
We live in a world where food is abundant, but millions go hungry; where food prices are soaring yet we divert many of our food crops to biofuels; where climate change is impacting poor women and men farmers and yet little is being done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Now we don’t want to start a food fight because we really want you to think about solutions. What practical changes can we take to ensure we live, grow and share better? We hope that these dinner conversations will be the first step to taking action for a future where everyone always has enough to eat. Of course we really want to GROW a movement for change. And it all starts with a friendly meal.
Bill Hynd is Oxfam Canada’s outreach officer in Newfoundland.
GROW week is October 15-22, 2011
Be sure to take Oxfam’s World Food Challenge!