Arts & Culture Editor | Molly Williams
It’s 9:00am on a Tuesday morning. You’re sitting in your first lecture of the day, having just rolled out of bed and hauled yourself onto campus – there was no time for breakfast. Between slides, there’s a lull in the lecturer’s presentation; it is in this silence that your stomach erupts with a moan for the usual morning Marmite and toast and cup of tea. People turn around, locating you as the source of the stomach rumble. You say you’re starving. After the lecture, you grab a cinnamon swirl and a latte from the Boiler House. You aren’t starving. You just overslept.
Every year, 66 million children go to school hungry. Really hungry. Malnourishment effects one in nine people worldwide, hindering their productivity and making them more prone to life-threatening diseases. The ZERO HUNGER CHALLENGE is the plan of action to end world hunger by the year 2030. It is one of seventeen Sustainable and Development Goals set by the United Nations, created to put an end to world hunger within the next twelve years.
We have twelve years to sort ourselves out, before the damage we’ve been doing to the Earth becomes irreparable. Undeniably, the consumerist greed of the 20thcentury has spilt over into the 21st, and the clean up isn’t going to be easy. THE FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANISATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS aims to create sustainable food systems that limit waste, increasing the yields of agriculture schemes. As well as limiting waste through production, the end to hunger depends upon the conscious consumer.
The mission of ZERO HUNGER is one that involves all of us. We are responsible for the collective creation of a sustainable world, where no one’s life is hindered by insufficient nutrition. On World Food Day, we are faced with the question: What can we do to help? The answer is everything. The way we view food must change. The amount of food waste we produce must change. Our bad habits must change.
WHAT WE MUST DO
- CUT DOWN ON WASTE.
Freeze your leftovers. Store your food correctly so that it doesn’t go off. Buy only what you need and never in excess.
- ADOPT A MORE HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE DIET.
Healthy meals can often consist of just a few ingredients – they don’t need to be complicated. Cooking for yourself helps reduce you ‘foodprint’,
- PLAN MEALS.
Not only can this help cut down your food shop costs, but it also reduces impulsive takeaway orders. Your bank account will thank you.
- PICK UGLY FRUIT AND VEGETABLES.
Many mainstream supermarkets now stock the ‘ugly’ fruits and vegetables that would previously go unsold by farmers because of their unconventional appearances. These are often cheaper than their ‘prettier’ companions, and taste just the same.
- DONATE WHAT YOU DON’T NEED.
Food Banks operate across the UK to help those without enough food to get by. To find your nearest Food Bank, and find out what you can and cannot donate, visit: https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank
- SPREAD THE WORD.
Be an advocate for #ZEROHUNGER by encouraging your friends and family to adopt a lifestyle of low waste and conscious decisions when it comes to food.
The changes that we make will place less of a strain on Agricultural Industries to cater for the greedy lifestyles of many developed countries. The changes that we make will mean that by 2030, children won’t have to go to school hungry. Their educational development will not be stunted by an inability to concentrate through their malnourishment. Become a conscious consumer, as it’s only through changing our habits that we’re ever going to change the world.