Picture: Jeffrey Abrahams (IOL)
In many rural communities in Cape Town today, there is thousands if not millions of people who go without food or who struggle to survive and eat a proper meal on a daily basis.
This reality has led to many socio economic problems arising throughout the Mother City. There are many reasons for this, but the two which stood out the most for me is a lack in income and food wastage.
In 2011, according to a survey done by Queen’s University and AFSUN, the most common forms of labour in poor rural areas were domestic work, skilled manual labour and service sector work.
It has been proven time and time again that a lack of food or a certain type of food can highly affect the way any human being functions and lives, and furthermore, even their life span.
It was also found that most affordable, high in protein foods were among that which were least consumed. According to the survey, among the possible reasons for this is that making these foods is time consuming, which leads to high energy costs.
Another shocking statistic was that a whopping 88% of households stated that they had been without food in previous months due to unaffordability.
Even with these sad statistics, according to a news article written by the Cape Times, over 10 million tons goes to waste every year. In the article it goes further to say that WFF South Africa’s new Food and Waste said that fruits, vegetables and other foods high in protein make up 70% of the wastage and loss.
Those who tend to waste food because they simply don’t need it need to think twice before doing so, especially mainstream food outlets.
As a journalist, I believe that each and every citizen has an impeccable role to play when it comes to bettering and fostering a healthier and more conscious and just food system.
And many are already starting to play their part by handing out meals and even offering counselling to those in need.
The high unemployment rates needs to be addressed and everyone who is able to, can contribute to such an initiative. One fact that I think many people do not grasp is that it is very difficult to find strength and reason to live a better and ‘healthier’ life when your living conditions is unbearable.
Doing something as simple, yet as effective as motivating those who feel dismayed about the conditions they are living in is one of the best gifts any human being can offer another. It is important to understand that every word that one utters has the ability to either break or build someone up.