Live Below The Line

GPP_LBL-LogoDo you know what it means to live below the line? Neither do we. But starting this Monday and all the way through Friday we will.

Live Below The Line is a campaign started by two guys from Australia, Rich Fleming and Nick Allardice.  Their challenge was to live on $1.50 a day for 3 weeks. They picked $1.50 because that is the accepted global figure for extreme poverty.  Why would we do join this campaign you ask? Because we as humans can try to understand many things, but the best way we learn is through self-experience.

For 5 days we at Say No To Food Waste will live below the line and get a small glimpse of what it is like to be poor and hungry because the salary you earn isn’t enough to get you through life.

Everyday we will document the food $1.50 can buy us in Macas, Ecuador. Since Ecuador is relatively  cheaper than the US, we know our small amount of money could go a long way. For some though the reality is worse. That’s why we ask that you join us in this challenge and send us photos of what $1.50 could buy you where you currently live.

To learn more about the project click here. To see a great movie on what poverty is and food insecurity is like in one of the richest countries in the world, The United States, watch A Place at the Table.

Together we will see what it is like to be poor and hungry with so much wealth and food around.

City of Lodz starts “The First 1000 Days” program.

1000-pierwszych-dni-dla-zdrowia-logo-glIn Lodz, Poland a local Food Bank named after Marek Edelman has started to organize a series of educational workshops, talks and meetings to place more importance on the first 1000 days of our lives. It is part of a bigger campaign initiated by the foundation NUTRICIA called “1000 First Days for Health”.

“Together with our 200 partner NGOs we will be also distributing flyers and posters all over our city and region. We have also set up an information point in the local Food Bank, where you will be able to get advice on principles of the correct nutrition process of little children and pregnant women. A dietician will be available for private consultation and all interested will be able to use internet for more information” – said Pawel Drobnik, the project coordinator of the Lodz Food Bank.

A couple of months ago I shared a link to an article from the Huffington Post written by a 17-year old Brett Hahn. He started by asking a question what is the most important thing that your parents have done for you? The answer to this question lies within the first 1,000 days of our existence; from the time that each of us was just a fetus in the womb to the age of 2, our parents properly fed us.

Reading about the project that is now being launched in Lodz I started to search for other projects of its kind and a lot of NGO’s are focusing on the issue of the first 1000 days of life. The Save the Children organization has carried out a study on Nutrition in the First 1,000 Days. “Out of 73 developing countries – which together account for 95 percent of child deaths – only four score “very good” on measures of young child nutrition. Our Infant and Toddler Feeding Scorecard identifies Malawi, Madagascar, Peru and Solomon Islands as the top four countries where the majority of children under age of 2 are being fed according to recommended standards.”

One of the main reasons for malnutrition among the developing countries is the lack of awareness on this important issue. Many women don’t even realize how fundamental breastfeeding is. Breastfeeding is the single most effective nutrition intervention for saving lives. If practiced optimally, it could prevent 1 million child deaths each year. In developing countries those children that are fed by their mothers are at least 6 times more likely to survive.

In addition to that, during the first 1000 days of our life we develop and build one of our most important muscles – the brain. Proper nutrition helps us build all of our vital organs in the right manner so as to be used for the rest of our lives. Apparently people that were properly fed during their first days are able to earn 20% higher wages. Unfortunately, the global cost of malnutrition related programs oscillates between $20 to $30 billion. Maybe spending more money on this kind of support will help us spend less money on other issues such as military services or curing diseases caused by malnutrition.

References:

  1. 1000 Pierwszych Dni (1000 Frist Days) http://www.1000dni.pl/
  2. Nutrition in the First 1,000 Days http://www.savethechildren.org/atf/cf/%7B9def2ebe-10ae-432c-9bd0-df91d2eba74a%7D/STATE-OF-THE-WORLDS-MOTHERS-REPORT-2012-FINAL.PDF

posted by Piotr Wielezynski

Hunger is much more than an empty stomach.

As you are reading this text, you know that it is a blog about food waste. Some may think that hunger, besides being related to food doesn’t have much to do with food waste. We, however, believe that hunger is one of the causes of food waste. Maybe not in all cases and definitely not as a direct cause. Most of food waste happens in the developed countries. People buy and throw away food that could have ended in a belly (let’s forget about the huge amounts of food that are being eaten without any serious reason, which has led to an obesity epidemic). It all works just like a stock exchange. When the demand is high the price is going up. It means that people who are struggling for survival with $2 a day have an even more difficult situation.

Many of us have already heard that 1/3 of the whole planet suffers from malnutrition and that it is the cause (direct or indirect) of half of children deaths in developing countries. But this is not only a problem of developing world; in the Unites States 1 in 5 children are also at risk of hunger. (Generations United)

From a blog called “The 40-hour famine” we have learned about a more scientific approach to the problem of hunger. It showed us, which organs actually suffer from malnutrition.

So, hunger affects the:

Mind – “Childhood malnutrition can cause reduced intelligence, anxiety, psychiatric issues and cognitive impairment in the long term.”

Heart – “Hunger causes a decrease in heart rate and oxygen levels, making it that much more difficult to perform any kind of physical activity, let alone labor. To function properly, the heart needs sufficient calcium, iron, protein and Vitamin B.”

Organs – “Intestinal tract, kidneys and livers, all need fiber in the form of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to operate healthily.

Joints and Muscles – ”It doesn’t matter how often a person exercises, if the person isn’t getting sufficient protein, her or his muscles will weaken and shrink.”

Bones – “Without sufficient calcium, a young person’s growth will be stunted for life, possibly forcing her or him to function with fragile bones that easily break as an adult.”

Immune system – “A number of diseases that are rare here but rampant in the developing world are directly caused by deficiencies in basic vitamins, minerals and macronutrients. And, outrageously enough, most can be treated with the mere introduction of those deficient vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients. No pharmaceutical research, no vaccination, no drug regimen necessary. In most cases, just the right food in the right amount.”

While writing this text I got to understand why food is so important. Probably it is because I was never really hungry and I take food as pleasure for most of the time. But I was definitely lucky to have parents that fed me well. So here is a message to all of you parents or “gonnabe” parents. Remember to feed your kids well. Well doesn’t mean a lot. Well means: diverse, fresh, colorful, which all leads to healthy. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!!

References:

1. http://40hrfamine.wordpress.com/how-hunger-hurts/

posted by Piotr Wielezynski