Grumbling stomach. Cold fingers. Bad breath. A racing mind. And zero energy. So why would anyone put themselves through 24 hours of hunger by choice?
Our team at Say No Food Waste gave no second thoughts about joining the No Food Day campaign created by EndingHunger.org on October 12, 2013. The idea is simple – raise awareness and stand in solidarity with the many individuals that go hungry on a daily basis.
There were a lot of people asking us what this day of hunger would accomplish. That all depends on how one decides to look at this. An individual by himself can’t accomplish much. But what one individual can do is inspire others to become the change they wish to see in the world. Through a ripple effect, others slowly join and what started out as a radical idea becomes a common movement, even a rational idea.
In this blog entry we would like to explain a little about our decision to partake in this campaign and reflect on what we learned. Especially since today we are celebrating World Food Day!
Joining the campaign was simple – to get a taste of a life with no food. Being fortunate enough to buy the food we like (humus, sushi, salads, and more) we wanted to challenge ourselves to live a day in a life of those who are less fortunate.
This is what we experienced. The day started out fine. Although we are big fans of nice breakfasts, going today without any was rare, but for this cause something we were willing to accept. Instead of a regular breakfast we had a nice glass of warm water. Quickly we realized that the trick to not getting hungry is staying busy. The house was cleaned, floors were vacuumed and the groceries were bought.
Things started getting tough during lunch time, when people around began preparing their lunch and smells of delicious food floated in all directions. But with determination even this phase became a thing of the past. At around evening though, at about 7, things got really tough. Suddenly warm cups of water were not enough, the stomach began talking, and all the commercials on TV were about food. Seeing the juicy burgers, circular pizzas and endless hot fries dancing on the screen made the fast really hard. But being so focused on food, it was easy to catch that most of the commercials on-screen were promoting foods that are cheap, fast and really unhealthy. No wonder those who lack money and feel hungry buy things that are affordable, but very unhealthy. Also, fast food is easy to eat and prepare, so those who are running all day hungry have no time to prepare food and instead grab something on the go.
Having completed this challenged, we have a sense of accomplishment! For those wondering whether it was worth joining this 24 hour campaign, the answer is YES! Not only did it show that being hungry sucks! It also showed that living hungry is possible, and maybe that is the biggest problem. Those around us never notice whether we are hungry or not. Fact is, even if you are hungry you continue living your life and even make it as busy as possible to get your mind off hunger. So this problem gets swept under the carpet and is rarely discussed in public. And if you don’t talk or think about a problem, there is no way for it to get addressed and eventually solved.
Today, we are celebrating a day of food and abundance. World Food Day is a complete opposite of No Food Day, but the two go hand in hand. As billions of people have the possibility to put food on the table, billion others spend days running on nothing. While we stood in solidarity with those who campaign for hunger for one day, we can’t forget those who campaign for it on a daily basis. We hope that all of our readers and fans join this campaign in the coming years, and continue to participate if they joined this year. Such campaigns help us become aware of hunger and appreciate the value of food. So please, if you want to support and help those who are hungry in other ways than fasting, remember not to waste food. And if you have too much, always share it with those around you. Together we can make hunger and food waste a thing of the past.
Enjoy the rest of your World Food Day. And as you attend or host dinner parties remember that hunger is a problem we have yet to solve. So don’t be fooled by all the food you see around you, for some eating it is just a dream.
By Hokuma Karimova