World Food Day

World Food Day is October 16.  An on-line program is Monday (see next paragraph).  The Food and Agriculture Organization is one of the many offshoots of the United Nations, whose 75th anniversary is Oct. 24, 2020.

The organization Global Minnesota has all information for World Food Day and other events here.  In the calendar, at the website, is announcement of a virtual event at noon on Monday, October 12.  Check out the calendar.

The October 10 Minneapolis Star Tribune had this excellent editorial on the topic.  This is an essential topic of conversation at this point in our history as a nation.  The U.S. remains by far the wealthiest country in the world (note Wealth of UN Countries), within which our country has by far the greatest inequity in personal wealth of the haves versus have nots.  And the gap is growing, and the tension intensifying.  We ignore this inequity at our great peril.


This year is the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.

Take time to learn more about the history of the UN, founded in 1945 to help solve problems through means other than war.

There will be many programs and many sources of information about this anniversary and assorted events.  Global Minnesota lists several of these events.  An organization in which I’m active, Citizens for Global Solutions MN, is also a useful source, as is United Nations Associations of Minnesota.

Check these out.

snapshot of UN headquarters, New York City, late June 1972, by Dick Bernard

COMMENTS (more at end of post):

from a long-time friend: I provide monthly contributions for five organizations that are addressing local hunger with 45% going to the elderly.  On a national and world level, as I may have indicated before, the answer is “contraceptives, contraceptives, contraceptives”!!! The majority of my philanthropic funding goes to organization focused on promoting women to give them the independence to decide to not be child bearers in order to have a husband to supported them. But I can only do so much.

from Chuck: Thank you!
I did!.

And have issues with it.
Since 1980…here’s the facts.

“In the final analysis, unless Americans — as citizens of an increasingly interdependent world — place far higher priority on overcoming world hunger, its effects will no longer remain remote or unfamiliar.  Nor can we wait until we reach the brink of the precipice; the major actions required do not lend themselves to crisis planning, patchwork management, or
emergency financing… The hour is late.  Age-old forces of poverty, disease, inequity, and hunger continue to challenge the world.  Our humanity  demands that we act upon these challenges now…”    Presidential Commission on World Hunger, 1980.

Today we are experiencing these consequences.  The Commission warned about “diseases”, “international terrorism”, “war”, “environmental problems” and  “other human rights problems” (refugees, genocide, human trafficking.).
Each threatening our lives, our freedoms and our prosperity.   Our failure to deal with them has fueled fear and generated populist movements. Movements that are only making things worse.

The 1980 commission specifically warned that “The most potentially explosive force in the world today is the frustrated desire of poor people to attain a decent standard of living. The anger, despair and often hatred that result represent real and persistent threats to international order.  Neither the
cost to national security of allowing malnutrition to spread nor the gain to be derived by a genuine effort to resolve the problem can be predicted or measured in any precise, mathematical way. Nor can monetary value be placed on avoiding the chaos that will ensue unless the United States and the rest of the world begin to develop a common institutional framework for meeting such other critical global threats. Calculable or not, however, this
combination of problems now threatens the national security of all countries just as surely as advancing armies or nuclear arsenals.”

It also stated “that promoting economic development in general, and overcoming hunger in particular, are tasks far more critical to the U.S. national security than most policymakers acknowledge or even believe. Since the advent of nuclear weapons most Americans have been conditioned to equate
national security with the strength of strategic military forces. The Commission considers this prevailing belief to be a simplistic illusion.  Armed might represents merely the physical aspect of national security.  Military force is ultimately useless in the absence of the global security that only coordinated international progress toward social justice can bring.”

Our failure to take a universal human rights approach after 9-11 has cost the US twice as many lives lost that day and as much as 6 trillion US tax dollars so far.  The Covid-19 crisis has been estimate to cost us that much in just 4 months, not to mention that in those same 4 months we lost approximately 6 times the number American lives lost during the last 19 years fighting terrorism predominately with military force.

It should be a self-evident truth that Covid-19 and most other threats we face today are largely the result of ignoring this reports recommendations.  Dozens of other prodigious, bipartisan studies and reports have followed since then.   Each clearly documents the direct and indirect links between world hunger, human rights violations, global instability, and the growing array of other threats to our national security.    Affordable and achievable targets with a comprehensive action plan can be found in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals today.  They offer an action agenda to tackle  the root causes of the growing chaos.

What’s missing is the political will.  The will to do what’s right  — and make an adequate  local, national and global investment in everyone’s health, freedom, security, and prosperity.

Time is not on our side.  The evolution of pathogens, weapons, and war is outpacing our will to voluntarily change.   This is literally.unsustainable.

2 replies
  1. Lili Habashi
    Lili Habashi says:

    Great sources and ideas to feed from. There are lots of openings where everyone can get involved with. This made my day 🙂

  2. Steve Sandell
    Steve Sandell says:

    Really important information and essential effort especially in light of the brand new Nobel Peace Prize to the UN’s World Food Program. The Program’s director was on the PBS News Hour this week: “This is an abundant world and no one should go to bed hungry.” He’s right–no on should live their life hungry. Thanks for the post!


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