According to the World Health Organization, Food Security is achieved when “all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.”
According to Hunger Statistics – Some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That’s about one in nine people on earth. The vast majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries, where 12.9 percent of the population is undernourished.
AND to top off these gloomy statistics and make it even more ridiculous – while 1 in 9 people goes hungry worldwide, HALF of US produce is thrown away!!! The demand for “perfect” fruit and vegetables means much is discarded, damaging the climate and leaving people hungry. Meaning the set-up of our food system in the US is exacerbating the problem by making the produce even more expensive and scarce.
So what is the solution? What can we do to start changing this set-up for the better, either for ourselves or for the communities we are currently helping?
One of the immediate, cost-conscious and relatively easy solutions is creating Edible Gardens. We can plant edible gardens in our homes to become more food independent and save resources or to plant them in communities that face poverty and are food insecure. (Mangoes to Share chooses to help implementing edible gardens in Kano, North Nigeria, where food is extremely scarce and expensive)
According to the Resiliency Institute, benefits of Edible Gardens are countless:
- Provides fresh local food to the community and individuals, which helps with achieving food security. It breaks the vicious cycle of the present system based on expensive fossil fuels for transportation and corrects poor food management and unavailability of fresh food for millions of people in the world
- Ecological restoration
- Reduces or eliminates lawn maintenance costs (in relatively well-off communities where lawns exist)
- Creates a community park
- Serves as an outdoor classroom or educational resource
- Connects people to food and nature
- Increases wildlife biodiversity and habitat
In cases of extreme poverty Edible Gardens literally FEED COUNTLESS STARVING PEOPLE in the US and abroad!
Here are a couple of perfect examples:
- Los Angeles residents are facing difficult challenges in securing nutritious and affordable food. Gas prices are around $4 per gallon and food prices are among the highest in the United States. In L.A. County, 16 percent of residents are living below the poverty level, according to the 2010 US Census. As the city braces itself to face these challenges, farming in the city can provide jobs, nutrition, and hope to some of L.A.’s poorest communities. READ MORE HERE.
- The challenge of food security is often seen exclusively as one of feeding an ever-growing human population. Worryingly, food production has constantly failed to keep up with population growth. But now the problem is much more than just one of scale. The nature of the challenge, too, is changing. Not only has the human population been increasing, it is also changing from being predominantly rural as more people flock to urban centers. As a way of easing the food shortage, many urban households, particularly the poor, have taken to growing food on small plots.Today, if you take a walk through some of the residential estates in Nairobi such as Ngara, Eastleigh and Buru Buru, you might be forgiven for thinking that a green revolution is under way. READ MORE HERE.
If you research the topic, there are countless articles about these practices. This trend is becoming more and more mainstream. As mentioned before, to give our little grain of sand, Mangoes to Share partnered up with The Lovatt Foundation to raise funds to plant edible gardens in 5 orphanages for children run by the Foundation.
We also hope that the money we collect will be enough to set up a nursery for the cultivation and propagation of plants, ready for planting the next season!!
If you want to know more please check out our projects, event page and keep up with the future updates!
Our dream is that one day Global Food Security will be achieved and all people at all times will have access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.
You say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one :)… I hope some day YOU will join us!