A Different Kind of Food Issue

July 7th, 2015 | Simcha Weinstein | Comments Off on A Different Kind of Food Issue

Chances are, this evening within the first hour of arriving home from work, you are very likely to open your refrigerator. It may be to look for a nibble or two, or to pull out food to begin dinner preparations, or it may be just that evening habit of standing in front of the refrigerator, hoping that the options that you see will inspire your creativity at meal time. Whatever the motivation for opening your refrigerator, it’s worth mentioning that just the opportunity to open a cold storage unit keeping your food fresh is quite the luxury.

Over 1.6 billion people throughout the world do not have electricity. That’s nearly 25% of the world’s population. If you have no refrigeration, you have extremely limited options for storing food or medicine. This has a tremendous impact on the spread of disease. During the winter months most without electricity use wood, coal or even dung to cook with and to heat their homes — resulting in indoor air pollution that kills 1.6 million people a year.

Most of us are extremely fortunate. That’s not to dismiss our issues and the sufferings that we all endure, but most of us who are fortunate enough to be reading a blog on a computer have achieved a lifestyle that is pretty comfortable compared to many people living throughout the world. Here are some pretty staggering statistics about life for far too many of our world citizens:

– 25% of the world’s population – 1.6 billion people – live without electricity.
– 50% of the world’s population – 3 billion people – live on less than $2 a day
– There are 2.2 billion children in the world and 1 billion of them (every other child) lives in poverty.
– 50% of the world’s population – 3 billion people – live without clean water.

It has been estimated by researchers for the U.N. that it would cost 9 billion dollars annually to ensure that everyone in the world has access to clean water and a clean and sanitized living environment. While 9 billion dollars may seem like a lot of money, keep this in mind – in the United States alone, we spend 8 billion dollars annually on cosmetics.

As a world population, we still struggle with the very basics – clean water and enough food for our people. It’s easy to think that these issues are mostly in undeveloped and overpopulated countries, but keep in mind that these issues are right here in our own backyard. They just don’t make the headlines everyday, nor do they have champions in our government – people who will lobby for them day in and day out. We are all in the food industry and even as we focus on our own niches and battles, all of us, at the very least, should be champions of those who do not have clean water and enough food. Let’s make it part of our journey.