It used to be that the term World Hunger reminds us of images of malnourished children in underdeveloped countries. But consider this figure – 19 million of people in North America are going hungry. Food prices have increased dramatically over the past few months. A BBC report aired last week explored the reasons why there is a global food price increase. All of the factors are things we cannot do something about on a large scale – flooding, tsunami, earthquakes and other natural disasters that cut food production exponentially.
Yes, world hunger is a global issue that requires a local and personal solution because it affects our health and wellness. These are some of the ways in which we can deal with or cushion the impact of increasing food prices:
a. Practice frugal living and de-clutter your life
It is not just food, but all other commodities will be affected. So, in general, it is always good to start frugal living. Simplify your life, eliminate those unnecessary items in your budget and keep only those which are necessary for your peace, happiness and contentment. The more money you save from unnecessary item, the more nutritious food you can place in your table.
A de-cluttered life is also good for your mental health and emotional wellness. It allows more spaces in your house, in your life and in your mind to rest, relax and be refreshed.
If accumulation of material things is already a form of addiction, you might now professional help. The best would be to try hypnocoaching.
b. Cut down on energy consumption
Part of simplifying is a commitment to cut down on fuel consumption. This is not just good for the budget; it is good for the environment as well. Carpool as much as possible. Better yet, whenever possible, walk. It is good for the body, for the mind, for your wallet and for the world’s climate.
c. Avoid food waste
We throw away 8.3 million tons of food and drink a year. That is enough food to feed a whole country in Africa. Plan your meal in such a way that there are no leftovers and if there are, recycle them. There are plenty of creative ways to recycle leftover food that still look and taste appetizing.
d. Re-educate your palate
Taste and food preference are learned behaviors, there we can unlearn them. Years of exposure to junk food have developed a preference for food which does not help our bodies and our budget. Begin to re-educate the palate of your family by simple steps of introducing vegetables and fruits as part of the diet. Work to eliminate junk food snacks in your shopping list.
e. Make meal planning a regular practice
Before going to the groceries, make sure that you have a good idea of the meals you will prepare that week – whether you are at home or in a school campus. It will cut down unnecessary purchases. There are plenty of online resources regarding healthy meal planning.
f. Plant organic garden
If you have a space at home, begin to plant organic vegetables. It saves you money and provides life to your home environment. If you have a backyard, then transform a part of it into a garden. If not, try your patio, balcony and even windows.
g. Join a community garden
There are localities that have community gardens; you can check your neighborhood. It is good for your plate and provides opportunities to make friends not to mention the workout it offers.
Organize a group of friends and buy your food supplies in bulk at wholesale prices or with volume discounts. It is also a good way to reduce fuel consumption (only one trip to the grocery for several families), reduce packaging waste and keep your food fresh. An online tool called SplitStuff (http://splitstuff.com) is excellent for this.
i. Join a CSA
There are several community-supported agriculture (CSA) projects all over North America. There is bound to be one near you.
Find a way to save and use part of that saving to help feed others. There are organizations like Stop Hunger Now, hunger relief organization that coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world.