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Bon Appétit– Food Security and How the World Eats
By Edona Dervisholli
There are certain daily activities that people oftentimes take for granted—and one, in particular, includes the social activity of eating! Hungry Planet: What The World Eats, is a photographic exhibit presented at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on Monday April 28. The exhibit includes a study conducted by a photojournalist, Peter Menzel, and writer Faith D’Aluisio.
Hungry Planet consists of more than 600 hundred pictures of 30 families from 24 countries and their eating habits. Peter’s photos capture special moments as the families farmed, cooked, shared and ate together. Faith explained the photos context as they were displayed on the screen, from how they choose the location, to why the photos were taken, and which members of the family were allowed to be included.
Some of the most intriguing aspects of the exhibit were the cultures captured in each region, including unique aspects of the families’ occupation, income and other socio-economic factors. Of the many interesting stories and photos mentioned by Faith, one that struck me the most was that of a photo of a smiling, homeless 12 year old boy, who resides in a train station in Bangladesh. The young boy ran away from home because his family had no food. Now he survives in a train station, where he was able to get food, but still had to constantly fight with other homeless people for that food.
Such research illustrates the importance of the food security challenge across the globe. Alexandre Meira da Rosa from IDB profoundly welcomed such an exhibit as it bolsters the awareness needed to meet the needs. “Our eating habits have changed dramatically in recent years due to the phenomena such as globalization, rapid urbanization and climate change.” Food Security is also addressed in the report The Next Global Breadbasket: How Latin America Can Feed the World that was launched April 23 as a collaborative project of Global Harvest Initiative and the IDB.
Peter and Faith’s exhibit confirm that food security problems exist in almost all the countries that they worked in. Therefore, it’s important that we start finding possible solutions as these challenges become more apparent. The Latin America Breadbasket Report recommends specific ways we can invest in agricultural development including in countries such as Guatemala, Mexico and Ecuador where the presenters conducted research for their exhibit.