Food: The World Needs Your Help

Family Corner back

Dear Children,

I hope you are enjoying your school once again after a long summer break. School can be a lot of fun if you pay attention, keep up with your homework, respect your teachers, and make many friends.

The Melander family of Bargteheide Food expenditure for one week $500.07
Germany The Melander family of Bargteheide Food expenditure for
one week $500.07

Of course if you eat a hearty and healthy breakfast each day before you leave for your school, your mind will be more able to concentrate and your body will have energy to enjoy the day. Then, there is the mid-day break when you look forward to a delicious and nutritious lunch to carry you through the rest of your day. And when school is done for the day, what is the first thing you want to do when you get home? Have a great snack to replenish your energy! And what is better than the home cooked supper with your family to end the day?

By now, you must have guessed what I am writing to you about today.

Yes, food.

We all need it to stay alive. Every living plant and animal needs some kind of food to survive.
Yet, in the fast paced life of today, the one thing that sustains us besides water and air has been taken for granted by us.

Most of us do not know how our food is produced, where it comes from, what nutritional value it carries and what kind of impact its production has on mother earth. In the western world there is so much abundance of packaged and processed food that all you have to do is to look at the ingredients label to realize: this food item does not seem like it grew on trees or a farm; it seems to have been manufactured in a chemical plant!

Loaded with artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, we see a lot of edible food-like substances, but there is very little “real food” on our grocery store shelves.

Egypt The Ahmed family of Cairo Food expenditure for one week $68.53
United States The Revis family of North Carolina Food expenditure for
one week $341.98

We have been convinced by commercial food manufacturers that the foods mother Nature has provided us are inadequate and need tweaking. We are told to stay away from fat and carbohydrates, we dissect food to rid it off those things, then put it back together in unnatural ways, generally making sure that we never eat anything remotely resembling the foods our body and mind recognizes.

We are in love with our microwave ovens and convenience foods. The more quickly dinner can be served, the sooner we can get back to more “important” things, like TV and the PC. All the marketing of these products on TV, in magazines, and newspapers doesn’t help.

To make matters worse, a lot of precious real food is wasted to cater to our lifestyles. To get a good idea of how much food is wasted in the developed countries, you only need to read the news of recalls of tons of food everyday and see for yourself the leftovers discarded at homes, restaurants and grocery stores in our everyday lives.

Almost 100 billion pounds of food is wasted in the USA alone each year! 700 million hungry human beings in different parts of the world would have gladly accepted this food.

An average American household wastes 14 percent of their food purchases – whereas starvation due to inadequate food is increasing every single day all around the world.

Starvation in the world

Yes, a global food shortage is happening as I write to you. Even in the USA where so much food is wasted, many people go hungry each day.

Worldwide, 1 billion people go to bed hungry every single night.

Egypt The Ahmed family of Cairo Food expenditure for one week $68.53
Egypt The Ahmed family of Cairo Food expenditure
for one week $68.53

Already, somewhere in the world someone starves to death every 3.6 seconds and 3/4 of them are children under the age of 5.

Already approximately a third of all children in the world under the age of five suffer from a serious malnutrition that makes them severely sick.

And the bad news is that the world simply does not have enough water to grow much more food.

There is no possible way that the world can produce enough food for that many people under the current system unless we all change the way we produce, buy, consume and share our food.

That is the good news. Want to know how you can help? I thought so.

The question of the day for us to explore is: how can we all be healthy and still keep our planet healthy and green with our food choices, so there is plenty left for others?

There are only three simple rules to remember:

1. Eat Real Food
2. Every Meatless Meal Matters
3. Do Not Waste Food

What do I mean by ‘Eat real food?’

That’s easy! Stay away from food that is packaged, processed, preserved, genetically modified, chemically infested, dead food, and food that has been imported to your area from many miles away. The creation of artificial food takes a heavy toll on the environment and increases the load of poisonous chemicals in our earth which are extremely bad for our bodies.

Do look for food that is closest to its natural state, food that is grown locally on farms, food that is grown without growth hormones, insecticides, or synthetic fertilizers.

Does a meatless diet really help?

Chad The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp Food expenditure for one week $1.23
Chad The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp Food expenditure for
one week $1.23

Yes! It does in a variety of ways, but to put it simply, it takes approximately 6-8 times more resources to produce and ship a meat-based meal to your table. Think of 6-8 starving people that can be helped by you going meatless, even if only occasionally. As an added bonus, think of the rainforests that are being rapidly cut to clear way for cattle farming in order to meet the demands of the growing meat-eating world – you will be saving some of those beautiful trees and forests by going meatless.

And meat or no meat, the most important thing to do is to not waste any food. If you and your family stop wasting food, you will only buy what is needed. That reduces the demand on the food supply leaving more for others, not to mention saving you money!

And, if you want to step up your efforts a little bit further, you can participate in ‘Food Recovery’ efforts in your area and volunteer your time for this worthy cause.

Food recovery is the collection of wholesome foods for distribution to the poor and hungry. It covers a variety of different efforts. Some methods include the collection of crops from farmers’ fields that would otherwise go to waste, the collection of perishable produce from wholesale retail sources and food service industry that would be discarded if not rescued, and the collection of canned/packaged food that is close to its expiration date.
Every little effort makes a difference. I just ask you to do your little part and believe that World Hunger can be solved, but only if you, I, and everyone takes the important step.

Guru Sahib places a great importance on the simplicity of diet and personal responsibility associated with it. He says that that along with meditation, service, and righteous living this quality makes one worthy of spiritual liberation.

Guru Ji Says

If you reflect on these words, you will find what the right thing to do is.

Imagine the effect if everyone starts following these basic rules. We can have food for all our brothers and sisters in the world. What will be a better way to serve humanity than to feed the hungry? After all that’s why Guru Ji started the tradition of Langar.

Let’s start living by these simple rules today!

Lovingly yours,
Gurmeet Aunty

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