Let’s talk food privilege

“Privilege is when you think something is not a problem because it’s not a problem personally for you”

bananasFact: In 2014 – 2016, 795 million people or 1 in 9 people were suffering from undernutrition*

Of those 795 million people, 780 million live in developing countries.

I’m fresh home from a trip to the Solomon Islands with some Bond University nutrition students and I’d love to talk food privilege!

What are the major nutrition issues when it comes to world hunger?

We also know wasting and stunting of growth and development (think the stereotypical images from 40-hour famine posters) are the major nutrition issues people will face with extreme hunger. However, lack of essential vitamins and minerals is also a big part of under nutrition. For example, lack of iron, vitamin A and iodine can have a massive impact on our health.

What’s the problem?

Poverty is the major reason for hunger and lack of food security in developing nations.

“Food security is when all people, at all times, have access to physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation)

Interestingly, the world does produce enough food for everyone. It’s just not available to those who most desperately need it.  Conflict and the displacement of refugees, food and agricultural policy, climate change are all key players in world hunger*. On a side note, just living with undernutrition, makes it difficult to get out of poverty. Without enough energy and lack of physical and mental health makes it extremely difficult to work – enter the poverty cycle.

Why am I mentioning all this?

We all know world hunger exists. Like all things in life, we just need some gentle reminders to keep it in the forefront of our minds. This is increasingly becoming harder with wellness gurus endlessly marketing their latest and greatest “healthy eating lifestyles”.


Things you can do

  • Bring awareness to your own family’s food wastage. Foodwise has got some great tips for reducing your food waste and how to manage waste correctly to help the environment.
  • Remember hunger and lack of food security don’t just exist in developing countries. Many of our own population are struggling BIGTIME with cooking skills and lack of access to fresh, affordable food.
  • Volunteer. Charity starts in your own backyard. There are many food banks, community gardens, cooking programs and soup kitchens in Australia. Jamie’s Ministry of Food and OzHarvest are great places to start to find out more.
  • And the big one is for the next time you hear diet-talk. Maybe a friend or family member is talking about weight loss or the latest diet they are following? When you notice it, change the conversation. There are a gazillion more important issues in the world than fad diets and one of them is world hunger.
reference source:
* United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation
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