Author Archives: bruyere

How did we get to this point?

There was a dialogue about food and hunger yesterday. A sobering dialogue. A maddening dialogue. A dialogue which kept circling back to inequities that exist on the planet.

There’s two facts from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization that are troubling because they BOTH exist on this planet:

1. 805 million people are chronically undernourished on the planet
2. An estimated one-third of all food in the world is throw away (though FAO also admits this number is hard to estimate).

Not that the one-third of the wasted food can be easily delivered to the 805 million people who are under-nourished, but if we could: THERE WOULD NO WORLD HUNGER.

I was caught up in that startling reality that there’s enough food on the planet for everyone yet nearly a billion of people who need it, can’t get it,and didn’t listen as closely as I probably should have. I was maddened, at myself, at people in the room talking about it at a catered discussion while those 805 million suffer today, at everyone except those 805 million.   I had no idea one-third of food is wasted (I trust FAO’s facts).

I realize the issue is complex — the discussion was all about those complexities — but when it comes down to it, it feels like a lack of will, a lack of empathy, a lack of drive to fix it.

Let’s say if I waste X-amount of food in a given week, why am I not more conscietious about how much I’m buying? If I buy $50 in food but waste $10 of it, how does “the system” get their hands on that $10 before I spend it, I buy the food I only will actually eat, and that $10 goes to alleviate hunger somehow.

How do we figure this out……



13 Year Old Stole the Show

At a session about indigenous knowledge, a 13-year named Ta’Kaya stole the show. She represents a Tribal Nation on the west coast of Canada, north of Vancouver (I didn’t pick up the tribe’s name). She was incredibly articulate, her insights were decades beyond her years, and she brought a number of people in the audience to tears, many who spoke afterward about the challenges they have has an indigenous person who had lost hope for the younger generation in their community.  One of the best moments I’ve seen so far at this Congress.

Another best-moment was at the same session when the moderator (also indigenous), noticing that we were 15 minutes past the published end-time (sticking to the time schedule has been tenaciously enforced here) said he would not let the arbitrary decisions of schedule-makers shorten a discussion that needed to continue for the sake of the planet’s biodiversity.  The “time enforcer” in the back of the room was disempowered by that moment. I loved it.

Ta’Kaya is on the left (sorry for the poor photo quality.