Top tips to tackle hunger

Campaigns and Advocacy, GROW, Media Releases, News article written on the 16 Oct 2012

Australians are being reminded this World Food Day that simple changes to the way we buy and cook food can have a big impact on tackling hunger around the world.

International aid agency Oxfam said simple actions like storing apples correctly and putting a lid on a pan while cooking could have a major impact on tackling hunger around the world.

World Food Day (16 October) comes after last week’s Hunger Report from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which put the number of the world’s hungry at 870 million people, or one person in eight.

Oxfam Australia’s Food Justice spokeswoman Kelly Dent said what we do in the supermarket or in the kitchen did matter.

“Our actions can help reduce chronic hunger, which should not exist in a world which produces enough for everyone,” Ms Dent said.

She said Oxfam was seeing a record number of food-related emergencies around the world, as communities already on the edge experienced rising food prices and changing weather patterns.

Ms Dent said one of the causes of global hunger was waste, with a third of all food produced going to waste. Oxfam research across six countries – the Philippines, Brazil, India, Spain, the US and the UK – showed that one in six apples ended up in the bin; that’s around 5.3 billionapples every year.

The greenhouse gases produced in growing, trading and decomposing these apples is equivalent to burning 10 million barrels of oil. Only buying the apples we need and storing themin the fridge will help cut this waste.

“Buying food in season can also save a lot of energy which is wasted by growing food in the wrong place at the wrong time of year,” Ms Dent said. “We can save energy and cut greenhouse emissions by eating more of what’s in season.

“We can also cook smarter. Putting a lid on your pan can cut the amount of energy we use in cooking by up to 70 per cent.”

Ms Dent said supporting small-scale food producers such as buying Fair Trade also was important. By choosing Fair Trade chocolate, even just a couple of times a month, we can help transform the lives of people who live and work on 90,000 small-scale cocoa farms across the globe.

“We can focus on eating sustainably, restoring our land and water systems to health, reducing reliance on chemical fertilisers and pesticides and trying out long-forgotten seeds and breeds,” Ms Dent said.

“If enough people act, and grow and eat sustainably, the impact will be felt right along the food chain. Governments and the global companies that prop up our broken food system will be forced to change the way they do business.”

For more information and interviews, please contact Laurelle Keough on 0425 701 801