“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”
We are living in a time when food security is more important than anything else. All of us have probably seen pictures of empty shops, short supplies, and overwhelming reactions in the wake of the world coronavirus panic followed by ricing food prices. We realize just how fragile and dependent we are.
As Esther Duflo and A.V. Banerjee pointed out “The biggest problem is not the calorie-based poverty trap, it is not about quantity it is about quality - Micro- and macronutrients, enough iron and iodine”.
Of course, there are sensitive groups like pregnant women and children to even focus more on, but this is a worldwide problem, malnutrition and obesity becomes a global issue, your problem is my problem …
“Experts warn of a double burden of malnutrition, with underweight and obese children living in the same communities and even within the same family. One in three low and middle-income countries are now affected”, according to experts within WHO.
We hear this over and over again. In the middle of a world crisis like right now where all-economy will change, what can be more important than securing that the world get enough to eat with sufficient nutrients and vitamins.
This can be done by giving away fortified food to pregnant mothers and parents of small children, by treating some children for worms in preschool or school, by providing them with meals rich in micronutrients.
To turn back from the global scale and brake down the problem to the family level we need to know, how and what we need to grow, and we need to think micro-level because people don’t have enough space nor time in cities or are just too scared to think in a bigger scale.
The root of the problem is the same – a scarcity of nutritious food. Some children have too little to eat; others have too many empty calories. The high fat, salt and sugar junk snacks of affluent countries are now available in almost every village and are becoming part of the staple diet of some of the poorest families.
In 2020 we still talk about hunger.
“Over 820 million people suffering from hunger; new UN report reveals stubborn realities of ‘immense’ global challenge” (2019). It looks like nothing changes.
We all want to be out of this kind of statistic but if we are waiting for someone else to solve the problem most probably it will not happen. Maybe you are lucky and a local or international NGO or your government will take this issue seriously and set up some local programs, but what can be a better solution than controlling our food supply, know what we put in our body without creating further problems. We need to understand our decisions shape our future. Everything is connected. Not enough nutrition food, health problems (cost money), children will be out of school (effect future income), the dependency of food prices (cost money), eating imported food (no control and we don’t know what we are eating). We can make our solution at the family level or community level (even the social skills are quite shallow nowadays, but let’s raise those skills as well).
Here are some possible solutions to be ready for any crises in the future, because if you at least can be sure you get a healthy diet it can drive you to solve other problems.
1. Start your own container garden
This is a great way for those with limited space to begin growing food plants. There are many herbs, vegetables and fruits that grow well in containers. Start out with a mix of herbs such as thyme, rosemary, basil or garlic chives. Or try growing your own strawberries in a pot or hanging basket, strawberries are one of the best fruits to grow in a container.
No matter which category of vegetarian you fall into, it is important to choose a variety of foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. You need Calcium, Iron, Protein, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D.
2. Start a no-dig vegetable garden
Potatoes are one of the best veggies to plant in a no-dig garden. This is for those with a little more space, and is the easiest way to begin your vegetable garden. This method reduces the need for weeding, returns organic matter and life to the soil and is the best way to start your own vegetable garden from scratch. You won’t need to dig up your garden bed, and you can grow all kinds of vegetables and fruits in a no-dig bed. Try strawberries, pumpkins, potatoes and beans, as these will all establish very well.
You can learn how to make raised bed or just set up a few containers and do it ..
3. Start your own Worm Farm
Starting your own worm farm is one of the best things you can do if you’d like to begin growing your own food. Worm farming is a sustainable way of dealing with organic waste, and an excellent resource for any gardener. A worm farm will take care of your kitchen waste, allowing you to recycle nutrients back into your soil. Your worm farm will also supply you with a steady stream of organic fertiliser and soil conditioner for your garden or pot plants, an invaluable resource for the home gardener! Worming your way into the garden…
If you need some help check this out: http://working-worms.com/how-to-make-your-own-worm-farm/
4. Plant a fruit tree
Try growing your own native bush tucker, there are so many wonderful bush tucker fruits that are possible to grow yourself.
If you are uncertain where, just go to your favourite trail or a local park or just in your small garden and plant some trees. Good for the environment and good for you too. We are unconnected to nature so it’s time to rewire ourselves. Maybe until now it was just a poetic and utopistic idea, but this is what Thoreau did and others as well. The whole society is paralyzed and polarised in such a degree that we need to find the way back to our roots and not because it is romantic, but because we don’t have any other choice.
5. Save seeds and forget the chemicals
You can find many sources to learn about permaculture and seed saving. It is a beautiful process where you can learn something new and with time you see the results.
What are we doing right now?
Panicking because we realize nothing really is up to us, we are just puppets and our whole existence depends on someone else’s decisions. We cannot call it freedom but we can easily call it modern slavery. The difference is that we have a choice now to say no to the big cooperation’s and start to reach the level we were at a few thousand years ago.
Sometimes the development level is where we were already once, but because the economical system abused us in the name of development, we didn’t even realize how we lost the most valuable thing called independence and freedom.
Do you need to be an activist? Not necessarily, just put some soil in a container and plant something, small is beautiful, small is necessary, and small is reachable.
So when the next crisis arrives you and your family and community will be ready for it, not to mention the learning process, the pleasure of discovering something new and the feeling when you cook something from the food you have grown by yourself.
Enjoy the process, find your freedom and believe it is possible …
If you want to know more about permaculture, gardening gives join us at Richmond Vale Academy.
Have a great day and stay safe!