Sunday, February 12, 2006

I will be doing the first one, probably on Monday. I don't think the second one is possible living in downtown Toronto. You may freely expect a photographic log of the enterprising fruits of my toonie.

Living Life on Life's Terms: Hunger and Human Rights: An Educational Challenge: "Below are three possible “Challenges” that will bring home the connections between land, hunger, poverty and the globalization of the food industry. Choose one or more of the following three challenges and try them for 5-7 days anytime in February.

I will be doing options 1 and 3. I'm going to start next week and I'll incorporate daily updates into my blog posts. If you want to participate, please update us using the comments section of the blog or send me a summary email.

1. Boston on $2/day
Challenge yourself to eat on $2/day for a week. The idea for this challenge is to look at how poverty and hunger are related. This amount does not include transportation, labor, rent, gas, electricity or any other inputs needed. You must use $2/ day (not $14 in one lump sum). Keep track of what types of foods you eat. Track whether or not the quality of food you eat changes drastically. Nearly 3 billion people live on less than $2/day including expenses for heat, housing, etc. That is almost half the world’s population. This widely used figure has been adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP).

2. Eat Locally
A big concern is the globalization of the food industry and a lack of information on where food is from, produced and what’s in it. Challenge yourself to eat only locally produced food for a week. Keep a log and answer some of the following questions:

What foods you are able to eat?
Is the quality of the food that is available comparable to food that is not locally produced?
How much does it cost in comparison to what you would normally spend?
Where do you have to go to purchase local food?
Are you forced to travel a longer distance?
Is there a farm near that sells local products?
How far do you have to travel to get to a local farm that produces and sells food?
Does buying locally produced food affect planning of meals and time?

3. The Global “Foodshed”

Challenge: Like water flows through a watershed, our food flows from producer to consumer. How far does your food have to travel to get to your table? Keep a daily food log tracking the country of origin of every item you eat for a week.

What is the food item?
What is the city and country of origin of the food item?
What company makes the food item?
List the ingredients of the food item and write down any ingredients that are unfamiliar to you.
Will this be easy? Probably not. Will it be fun? Possibly. Will it be an interesting experience? No doubt!"

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