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Credit: Oxfam America Action Corps and Grazioso Pictures Inc. Last week, I managed an (almost) zero mile meal. My backyard chickens provided eggs for a crustless quiche, flavored by garden-grown cherry tomatoes and basil, with freshly dug roasted potatoes on the side. The food was all local—almost. You need olive oil, salt and pepper to […]
Credit: Oxfam America Action Corps and Grazioso Pictures Inc.
Last week, I managed an (almost) zero mile meal. My backyard chickens provided eggs for a crustless quiche, flavored by garden-grown cherry tomatoes and basil, with freshly dug roasted potatoes on the side. The food was all local—almost. You need olive oil, salt and pepper to flavor, well, everything. And for dessert there was coffee and chocolate, wonderful foods that don’t grow so well in Massachusetts—but that do come in fair trade varieties that ensure small-scale farmers and farm workers around the world get a fair deal.
The meal was a reminder that “Eating Local” is just one part of the food justice equation. Buying fair trade is another. And there are many more. As Oxfam prepares to mark World Food Day on October 16, we’re thinking a lot about all the components of food justice. We hope you’ll do the same by holding a World Food Day meal and talking about how you can fight world hunger from your kitchen table.
Oxfam’s GROW Campaign recently released a report, Food Transformations, which detailed the power of consumers to contribute to global food security. For instance, meat production alone takes up eight percent of the world’s water supply. If a family of four substituted lentil burgers for beef burgers for just one night, they would save the equivalent of 17 bathtubs full of water. That is a small change with a powerful impact. To help consumers harness this power, Oxfam has launched the GROW Method, five easy ways to feed your family healthy and delicious meals while ensuring everyone on the planet has enough to eat, always.
The steps seem simple and straightforward: waste less food, eat local and seasonal, support small farmers worldwide, eat less meat, and cook smart. But nothing is simple when it comes to the politics of the plate. When the USDA raised the idea of employees participating in Meatless Monday this summer, it sparked a political firestorm. Meanwhile, a stalled Farm Bill threatens to harm food security from Michigan to Mali, and ethanol mandates are requiring much needed food to be used as fuel. As food prices rise and Oxfam and other organizations warn of a potential global food crisis, the price of political and personal inaction also rises. Order our free World Food Day 2012 resources, and consider holding a World Food Day Meal to celebrate the culture and community, power and politics of food.