As individual as we are, there are a several things that are a global common denominator – the largest one being food. There are different climates, different races, sects, sizes, houses, designs, and attitudes yet we all require food and water to sustain us.
Breaking Bread Together: Social Benefits
The old adage about “breaking bread” together signifies our innate connection with food and the value we’ve always placed on it as an integral part of our existence. The fact is that food brings people together and “breaking bread” together builds trust. And growing food together is even better. Food production allows people from all backgrounds to come together to plant, harvest, cook, and eventually eat all while enjoying each other’s company, and learning from different perspectives.
This lifestyle is representative of a common goal shared by many people which creates energy and builds community. It’s been observed that people are at their happiest when socializing around food. Have you ever noticed how everyone flocks to the kitchen when you’re entertaining? This gravitational pull makes kitchens around the world a community – and global common denominator within our existence.
People want to talk about food. More than ever our society is talking about where food comes from, what nutritional value you it contains, and what is okay to feed children. This is large part in due to awareness and growing concerns over our disconnect with food. In fact, schools are teaching about food again. This is a crucial part of our existence that somehow fell by the wayside in our standard childhood education. Food production became industrialized and was removed out of the daily lives of the average person. Knowledge, awareness, and concern diminished surrounding how food is made and where it comes from. Food simply became something on our checklists after work.
But the understanding and appreciation for food is now increasing yet again. In North America, we have access to healthy agricultural production whether it be traditional or urban. We do also have an industry of questionable food growing methods which alter the state of our naturally produced vegetation. This is why education and communication will be vital to helping consumers choose their best options now that the awareness has increased and values are shifting.
So what if your community’s food supply was taken away? There are major challenges that threaten food security and safety as well as nutrition globally. International and cross-field communication is important in ensuring that we innovate new sustainable solutions to protect our health and food supply. The me-against-them mentally wil no longer solve our problems. We must connect organizations globally through resilience and integrity so that they may remain accountable to every individual on the planet.
The solutions that come in the form of innovation rest in the hands of cities from around the globe. Cities are looking at ways they can improve or create food policy. We all have the right to access nutritious food for ourselves and our families but the fact still remains that there are parts of the world that struggle to find food. It’s our role and responsibility to find solutions that respond to food accessibility challenges as well as food inequities. We must realize that food is our global common denominator and binds us to one another.Here’s a look at an international organization which is setting the standard for how food will be grown and distributed with social, economic, and environmental outcomes in mind.
Vision of the International Food Policy Research Institute 2020:
To develop and promote a shared vision and consensus for action for meeting food needs while reducing poverty and protecting the environment; and
To generate information and encourage debate to influence action by national governments, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, international development institutions, and other elements of civil society.