As I sit in front of my television watching the BBC news about grain or rather wheat shortage in the world, somewhere from the long forgotten memories in my head, I hear my grandmother telling me about how food was rationed in the 1940's. What kid with a full belly and a happy childhood would ever pay any attention to such talk from the good ol' granny so I really did not care much. However now as a working adult I know the cost of living, how hard it is to work and earn money and all the wonderful things that as children we were oblivious to but have to worry about as an adult.
So they are saying due to several reasons (exploding population=more demand to say the least) for this shortage. Prices of gas have already taken a hike, now we are seeing an increase in the price of other staples like wheat. Australia the biggest producer of this grain has suffered several droughts making the production fall three times shorter than previous years (who knew it even rained in the outback, not to mention that they supply so much grain to so many countries. Tee hee! I just thought they produced hot looking people who just drink and hunt Kanagroos!! just kidding). China the nation with the largest population is already worrying about how they are going to feed the over 1.3 billion people residing there. I am not even going to think about what impact this is going to have on the poverty stricken areas of India, where the population is already half starved.
When my grandparents had to live in the refugee camps after the India/Pakistan split, they had to make do with a severely restricted ration of food and other necessaties. oh! the things we take for granted, how did they manage?! How did they live without personal bathroom and bedroom? To be stuffed into one tent with a family of seven!!! Did they get any sleep on the hard ground?! (maybe I should think about it when I am complaining to my husband that our camping gear is not comfortable enough for me to sleep on) How could my pregnant grandmother give birth to my aunt in a camp? what facilities did they get if any!! ok! I am veering off topic here। We were discussing food shortage and rationing so here is how that works। Each family is alloted a certain amount of food/oil which they are able to purchace at a normal rate (probably subsidized by govt।) and what ends up happening is that the retailers in order to make a profit start hiding materials and selling them for higher price under the table. What do we get, as always, a situation where people with money can buy how ever much they want, middle class people struggle to get enough to maintain their standard and the poor simply starve.
Now before you go on thinking, 'Ah! just another tree hugging socialist', listen I am not. I have studied enough Economics to understand why things are run they way they are. My problem however is with corrupt and simply inapt administration. Why can they not give money to farmers to grow food but can blow plenty of tax payor's money on some stupid agendas. Come on people!! we are living in the 21st century, we have landed on the moon, we are contemplating space stations, we have done successful cloning and we cannot even produce enough food to feed ourselves!! Excuse my language but HOW BLOODY RETARDED IS THAT?!! We certainly have enough resources to be able to ensure that there should not be any human or animal for that matter on the face of this earth who goes hungry. But of course what am I thinking, wouldn't that actually require forgetting our petty political wars and fights for a moment. And God forbid we should actually do that!! What actually get over our political and religious boundaries and work together as one human race....NEVAAAA!!!
LOL, ok I am losing it :-)
Maybe Mahatama Gandhi and Swami Dayanand were right in saying that up until we have enough food to go around we should try to share what is there. They had a theory that if every single person would fast at least once a week, it would ensure there was enough to go around for everyone. Nice theory guys, if only I could make my ever increasing girth to listen to my Conscience and actually fast. Plus I am not that gullible to think that having surplus commodities would ensure that the have nots of our society get fed. No sir, not when I distinctly remember America throwing away bushels of grain rather than donating it to African countries or to India.
To each their own though and I am going to try and be a good citizen to my planet and remain vegetarian one day a week and not throw away food (which seems to be becoming a really bad habit of mine, tsk tsk! how lazy Shivani)