Saturday, October 15, 2011

blog action day 2011

I am proud to take part in Blog Action Day Oct 16, 2011
as part of the social conscience function of this blog, i'd like to note that today, October 16, is Blog Action Day 2011.

i'd almost forgotten about it. but thanks to the organizers for sending out a courtesy message to everyone who's supported it in the past.  i've participated in Blog Action Day in past years (reference: Blog Action Day 2010 & Blog Action Day 2009), and it's something i always enjoy supporting. i know that Blog Action Day has already begun in the time zones ahead of me, but i figure i can still make a difference. so this is my post for Blog Action Day 2011 (#BAD11).

for those of you who don't know, Blog Action Day is an annual event organizing bloggers from around the world to unite towards a common cause. the idea is that bloggers write posts dealing around a common theme, and so act to raise public awareness among their audiences about the theme. the theme varies from year to year. since its inception in 2007, Blog Action Day has addressed issues like the environment, water, and climate change. for 2011, the theme is food. you can learn more about it at:
i suspect most of you who read this blog share my love of food. anyone who maintains an active lifestyle also maintains an elevated metabolic rate which entails a high calorie demand. if you're like me, you don't want the same kind of calories all the time, and given the volume of caloric intake, this invariably means that we develop a more discriminating attitude regarding nutrition.

having said that, i think we tend to forget the significance of those calories. at least in terms of the resources necessary to produce and distribute them. most of you, like me, live in societies where food is largely available whenever we want it. even in a tight economy, most of you are in countries or communities where you can get food if you want it.

but not everyone is like us. in fact, a significant percentage of the world's population has difficulty getting food, and actually fall far short of the nutritional requirements that are considered acceptable for human health. you can reference a map provided by the World Food Program (reference: ) that shows the percentage of population by country suffering undernourishment (the darker reds indicate countries where >35% of population is undernourished):
there is also a very good interactive map provided by the World Bank (reference: ).

the issue that's driving such undernourishment in the world is not one of food production but rather food distribution. there's enough food being produced to feed the world, but commodity prices, endemic instability, and transportation challenges are preventing food from being available to everyone--particularly to people in areas who need it the most. and the scale of the suffering is vast.

which is why i think that we have to do 2 things: 1) appreciate that what we have can meet our needs, and 2) act to help those who do not have enough to meet their needs. i want to encourage people to think about ways that they can help. even if we can't personally provide food to the starving in distant lands, we can still provide aid to the organizations that do. and we can also try to take steps to address overall global hunger by helping the starving in our own communities.

i know times are tight and the economy's bad. but that's why i think it's even more important to think about those suffering from undernourishment. because as bad as things are for us, they are much worse for them. given the apparent continuing resilience of amateur sporting events in places like the U.S. & Europe, my suspicion is that for most of us "bad" means having to cut back on race registration and training supplies; for so many other people in the world, "bad" means death.

i think we can do a something to rectify the karmic imbalance. even if just a little.

besides, if we really are as good as we'd like to believe we are and as good as we always say we are, at some point it means we follow through on the meaning of that word. and make it so that it means more than just "good" as in performance or fulfillment, but "good" as in making the world a better place...especially since they ultimately end up being the same thing.

1 comment:

niamh said...

Nice post. It's good to be reminded that no matter how powerless we feel it is possible to help somehow. The stats can seem overwhelming, but like you say we can all do something. I like to think that sports people feel that need and act on it just as much as people working for aid agencies.