The World Health Organisation says that food security is when "all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life." Sadly many of us at our school have face times of food insecurity making this an issue close to home.
We asked the question - Is there enough nutritious food grown to feed the world's population? The answer is yes. So what is preventing it from being shared equally? This is what we set out to explore. We started by looking at the facts.
- Did you know that in 2013 17% of children in developing countries were significantly underweight? - Did you know that 98% of people who do not have enough to eat live in developing countries? This is an estimated total of 805 million people - 1 in 9 going to bed hungry every night. - Did you know that poverty is the biggest cause of hunger? - Did you know that it requires approx. 15,000L of water to grow a kilo of beef compared to 2,500 L for 1 kg of rice and 280L for 1 kg of cabbage? This makes it in accessible to many across the globe. - Did you know an adult needs 8,700 kj a day or 2,100 calories? This needs to go across a number of different food sources for a balanced diet. - Did you know that 50-70% or 1 billion people live off less then $1.25 a day spending at least 60% on food? - Did you know that buying local, organic and seasonal food makes a difference to vulnerable communities around the world? - Did you know that 1 in 6 children under the age of 16 lives in poverty in Australia?
And to really bring it home Foodbank has published the following statistics:
Sourced from Foodbank, Australia Did you know? We didn't realise the extent of the problem, not just around the world but at home.
We decided to put it to the test. We had a food budget for the week of $20 and needed to feed a family that included a single mother and two children. We were given Coles brochures and cut out the items we would purchase for the working week. If we include breakfast, lunch and dinner for 5 days and nights for the three of them we are looking at 225 meals we need to provide. Yep... 225 meals. This is what we had.
As you can see, there isn't much in the way of fresh produce and the only beef we managed to get in there was in a can. How is this fair? This exercise really brought home to us what was at the core of this issue.
We began to look at the factors influencing or causing the problem. We categorised them into stability of supply and access, availability of food, access to food and safe and healthy food.
Turns out it is all interconnected - biosecurity, food security, climate change, healthy communities... definitely food for thought!
You can read more about our first lesson on Food Security here. We look forward to spending more time thinking about this issue in future lessons.
We explored the issue of food security further by looking at two organisations - Foodbank and Oz Harvest. Here is what we discovered.
Food Bank Food bank is a company that collects food and gives food to charities for free. The people who accessed the food are different food organisations that help people that don't get enough food and are hungry.
"The company helps people with food and it is really good." - Chelsea "I think it's good." - Catriona
We loved to see one of our Youth Off The Street's employees on the food bank website.
Oz Harvest ``Oz Harvest takes fresh, nutritious food that is going to waste and gives it to the needy. They are fighting against food waste to ensure there is access to food for all. Oz Harvest claims 1/3 of the world's food gets wasted. 1.3 billion tonnes of food across the globe! Food waste costs Australia an estimated $20 billion a year.
As individuals we can help by planning, cooking what we have, using ingredients up and reducing leftovers. Oz Harvests rescues food from businesses, train people in food waste, run an accessible market and food truck.
"They love yellow at Oz Harvest! It is a pretty good thing that the support giving food to the needy." - John