Food Insecurity: a Ghost That Haunts and Reaps Lives
In unstable times, food is the uncertainty of tomorrow
By: Fernando Cafe
"The dizziness of hunger is worse than that of alcohol. The dizziness of alcohol drives us to sing. But hunger makes us tremble. I realized that it is horrible to have only air inside the stomach". These words, written in 1941, show the opinion of Carolina de Jesus, a black woman, waste picker, and Brazilian writer. Her writings show this reality and denounce a social problem that makes millions of people feel "the dizziness of hunger" daily. To analyze this scenario is to observe its controversies and realize that the ghost of food insecurity has always been present in the contemporary world.
In the two decades of the 21st century, pandemics, climate change, and economic crises have impacted an essential element for the population: nutrition. According to UN data, hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean has increased by 13.8 million people annually; in Africa, 50 million suffer from food insecurity. In this sense, as they are at the base of society, the poor population is the one who most suffers the consequences of this problem. Moreover, the growth in social inequality worldwide serves as a fertile ground for insecurity, and the lack of government assistance forces many to feel these consequences.
However, a factor that should be a response to this reality has become, on a large scale, a neglecter of it. The Green Revolution, from 1960, brought technology and efficiency to production but did not democratize access to food. While developing countries, which suffer from food shortages, export their basic products to rich countries. It is noticeable that the understanding by many that this innovation would enable better food conditions for the population became unrealistic and highly theoretical.
Gradually, it is noticeable that hunger acts as a ghost that haunts the disadvantaged population and makes the right to food something controversial in times of crisis. Hence, it is necessary to combat this problem by ensuring that food is a necessity and a virtue to solidify human dignity on all levels.