Taste of Hunger

13 May 2010

In a demonstration to explore, examine, and bring attention to the topic of world hunger, writer Natasha Burge completed a seven-day project last week in which she mimicked the diet of world’s hungriest people. In World Hunger Exploration, Burge ate the staple foods of the regions hardest hit by food insecurity and adhered to the typical dietary habits of the 1.2 billion chronically undernourished men, women and children, researching the global problem and documenting her experiences.

“I have always been staggered by the overwhelming magnitude of the problem of world hunger. Sixteen percent of humanity faces chronic hunger. The numbers used to stop me in my tracks. With a problem so huge, I wondered, where should I even start?” Burge wrote. Throughout her week of food deprivation, she researched the causes and potential solutions to the devastating phenomenon of chronic hunger, focusing on a different topic for each day of her diet.

On day six she wrote of hunger in the USA, a lesser-recognized phenomenon. She reveals the astonishing statistics that one in nine Americans currently rely on government food stamps for their daily food needs and almost 1 in 4 children were facing chronic hunger in 2009. She spoke of the barriers to a nourishing diet that exist in a country where it costs less to buy a fast-food burger than healthier vegetable based foods due to government subsidies which heavily favour meat and dairy industries.

Five days after finishing the diet, Burge reflects on her journey. “As angry and heartbroken as this world hunger experience made me, it also gave me hope and joy, because there are thousands and thousands of people in the world who have devoted their life to fighting this tragedy…I truly believe that if every person on earth felt like this for just one week in their lives, chronic hunger would be completely eliminated…Once you experience this stomach clenching emptiness and leg shaking weakness, there really is no way you would willingly allow other human beings to suffer like this.”

Source: Conducive Chronicle

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