Global food crisis: An appeal

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By Team Srijan Apr 20, 2008

While driving back home from office I occasionally, listen to a business related AIR FM radio show called "Market Mantra". One of the topic of discussion, recently was the global food crisis, with specific focus on India. I must confess, that I have been completely ill informed about this emerging food crisis and the global repercussions of the same.

The discussion, therefore, was quite an eye-opener. However, one shocking thing which emerged from the discussion was that, the food crisis, is occurring because of prosperity and related consumption.

Price of rice is at an all time high in India, and it is not that the production has fallen. Our consumption, with increased prosperity has grown - and my personal guess is - so has our wastage of food.

I was shocked to learn, that in order to manage the rice-crisis in India, Indian government banned rice exports. Logical step we would all think. But imagine, that because of this step there are food-riots occurring in Haiti, Cameroon and Bangladesh as a direct result of this.

There is a real shortage of food in these countries, and in Bangladesh, the price of lowest quality rice is at 3 times the normal price. The reason is that India is the largest exporter of rice to these countries. The poor are the ones who are hit the hardest and suffer the most, while people like us, mostly remain oblivious to these concerns, as while price rise may affect us, it does remain minimal since in general, we are among the small 5%-10% of the more well-off people in the Indian society at large.

"How connected we all are...", I thought to myself, and wondered, "whether our concerns be limited to nationalistic rhetoric, or should they not extend to the people who have been hit the hardest - in Cameroon and Bangladesh; not to mention the poor in India"?

I was really not sure whether to write this appeal in an email to all members of Srijan, and was wondering whether our official blog was the right place to put up this up. Yet, I have my answer from J. Krishnamuthy's reply to Dr. Fritjof Capra, when the latter, confused about how he could pursue his spiritual inspiration while being a scientist. Krishnamurthy settled Capra's internal crisis, by telling him that "he was a human being first".

While we are in business, and this blog is about our business, it cannot and must not remain oblivious to the dramatically changing world around us which faces new and very serious challenges such as, increased disparity among rich and poor, climate change, etc. Hence, this post. Could we resolve to do the one or more of following steps at office?

  • Eliminate food waste at our office
  • Reduce our daily food consumption
  • Each week, replace at least one meal of Rice and Wheat, with fresh fruits

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