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Tomaeto, Tomato

May 8, 2019

Here is food for thought, there is enough food on Earth at the moment to feed every person more than they need to be healthy and full. The only problem is that quite a substantial amount of it is in the wrong places and isn't being spread in accordance with equity and equality. Equity is "the quality of being fair and impartial" (Dictionary.Com) whereas equality is "a symbolic expression of the fact that two quantities are equal; an equation" (Google Dictionary). For the past school term (10-11 weeks) my Food Technology class focused on the rising issue of food equity vs equality and its relations to the wider world. We discussed poverty, staple foods and food trends, corporations and organisations as well as cooked, grilled and baked multiple recipes from different poorer districts of the world. In the end, we discovered just how much of our lives are regimented by food inequity.

The biggest problem standing in the way of food equity is the involvement of larger corporations in the lives of poorer socio-economic communities and countries such as some areas in Asia, South America and Africa. These corporations use the crops grown by these lower socio-economic areas and sell them for such high prices that the people who grew the crops cannot buy back the food that they grew and go hungry as a result of power and money hungry business corporations. However, all over the world, non-for-profit organisations are becoming more popular and well-funded by communities. 

One such organisation in my home country is a non-for-profit organisation called Oz Harvest. Oz Harvest is a group of people from all over Australia who drive to different food stores every day at the end of business hours. They collect unused food such as bread, fruit and vegetables and give them to people who are less fortunate such as the poor or homeless. It has been in operation for 15 years and is now Australia's leading food rescue and education service with over 1300 charity stores that support people in need. First started by Ronni Kahn in 2004, when she became concerned by the amount of food waste in the hospitality industry. What started as liberating a few meals each day has turned into 180 tonnes of food being saved each week.

But not every country in the world has a non-for-profit organisation to help those who are victims of food inequity. Many communities are being subject to an increase in hunger due to the loss of their staple foods such as rice, polenta and quinoa due to them having to sell it because of rising prices and being only able to buy cheap substitutes that are not suited to their lifestyle. This is especially true in the communities of the Andes where journalist Emma McDonell has found that "The Quinoa Boom Has Gone Bust". McDonell went on to explain that the rise in food trends such as veganism and vegetarianism may be taking steps to help the environment, but are much more damaging to the smaller communities that are producing many of the "superfoods" found in today's consumer market.

In summary, the way we are treating food, especially in developed countries with high food intakes such as America and Austria, is harming a multitude of smaller communities of developing and lower socio-economic status. The work ethic of larger corporations has always taken advantage of the average worker, but in the last few years have leached all that they can out of developing communities in the agriculture industry. And without the help of non-for-profit organisations like Oz Harvest, our world's individuals most in need would not be anywhere as stable as they are now. So why don't we try a little harder, look into what we buy, and help save the world one meal at a time?

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