I feel like the Mafioso character in the Godfather movies, whose comment, as he was trying to extract himself from being a part of the Mafia, was something like this, “Just when I thought I was out, I am back in.”
The last two emails have focused on hunger, and this week I thought that I’d rap it up, and move on to some new developments in the world of the microbiome (and, I promise I will—soon). But, just when I thought I would be finishing with the topic of hunger this week, I am back in stronger that ever. Let me explain:
It is becoming clearer and clearer that hunger and its eradication in America is the single most powerful point of action we can take to heal many of the ills of modern society. It is of obvious import to our medical community that hunger be stopped, as it will dramatically reduce many chronic diseases that are overwhelming our health care system. Imagine what can happen with this single focused attack against hunger (food insecurity) in America, and the world! What if the majority of the medical community becomes activists—a herd of charging (intelligent) rhinoceri, deeply committed and involved in the eradication of hunger? How would that change things?
I am writing this email to you from New York City, where we will be all week. Remember last week I introduced you to Joel Berg and his book, “How Hungry Is America?” (2008). A book I have found to be the most practical and realistic in dealing with hunger. You may also remember that Joel heads up the group, New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH). In my travels today I met with Mr. Berg at his New York City office. I asked him what group, in my home area of the Pacific Northwest, is doing good work for hunger, and he told me to get in touch with the Food Life Line in my city of Seatte, which I will do, when we get back there next week. I also asked him what is the one thing that I should tune-in regarding his work here in New York City on hunger—and he directed me to their website (which I linked above for you). Click on the tab End Child Hunger—and see my reason for this email, and my focus on the eradication of hunger in the city of New York. A great example for the rest of America.
In New York City there are 1.3 million people who are food insecure (hungry). That is one in six. Of that number, 417,000 are children. Within this tab Joel is informing us that over the next four months, Congress will have the opportunity to make seious improvements to programs that feed millions of children each day, and that by passing a strong Child Nutrition and WIC Reathorization Act, Congress can take steps towards ending child hunger and to significantly improve nutritional health and awarenes of our children—this year! I quote the following about what the bill should accomplish:
What a wonderful set of goals to end hunger in America by 2014! I ended my meeting with Joel by buying three signed copies of his book for our friends. One of the books I will give you—that is to say, the first one of you who correctly identifies the amazing creature above. So, what is the name of this beautiful creature?
I also received a nice follow up email from the Coalition which I share in part:
Finally, in this mailing I want to share with you some important facts from Berg’s book “How Hungry in America?”, so read on:
Hunger, Obesity and Chronic Disease are intimately related in our world. A giant step towards addressing spreading hunger-obesity-chronic disease would be to create a success story in our country’s most glamorized and famous city—New York City. Making sure that every person in New York has access to more affordable, nutritious foods. Secondly, that we educate not only the poorest of our citizens in the critical importance of good nutrition, and what constitutes good nutrition; but also the up and coming students in our medical schools. Here we are in 2009, and our most elite of medical schools teach about disease, yet forget what creates disease in the first place. It is a travesty. We need to get to work.
Clinical Note: When we talk about food for the poor our own USDA is talking about Real Food. They are now promoting for all Americans—nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day. Who is eating that many servings? We have a long way to go don’t we?
The Last Quiz Answer: This gorgeous is quite obviously of the canine family. However I capture its picture but missed on its identification. So I need your help. Anyone?
Well, here we are in mid September and our condo garden has been a beginner’s success, not from a productive harvest point of view, but we have learned what we need to do to create next season’s abundant harvest. Gladly, we did get some vegies and they were throughly appreciated by our community. Most importantly, we have a collective vision for our community garden for next year.