The Globalization of Indifference: Who Cares About the Poor and Hungry?

We waste one third of the food we produce and 842 million people, that's one person in every eight human beings, go to bed hungry every night. One in four children are stunted by malnutrition while almost 500 million people are obese (see this spot video).

That's the kind of world we live in. 

Yesterday, on the occasion of World Food Day, celebrated here in Rome at the headquarters of FAO, a United Nations specialized agency dedicated to food and agriculture, Pope Francis had these magnificent words to stigmatize our culture of waste and the lack of solidarity: "the globalization of indifference".

To waste food is like stealing from the poor, he said, and "homeless people dying on our streets is no longer news" (see the UK Telegraph's report on the Pope's address here). And you can visit the Pope's Facebook page here (and like it, I did!)

As he put it, we slowly "grow used to the suffering of the other, as if it were normal" (italics added).

It's not normal. And it's about time we did something about this, all of us, in our personal lives. And that our politicians woke up to the problem.

The Italian Minister of Agriculture, Nunzia de Girolamo, who attended the World Food Day meeting yesterday noted that Italy had 400,000 persons suffering from hunger and that €5 million Euros had been set aside for them in the new economic "stability law". Sounds good. But this contrasts with the € 61 billion destined in the same law to the military expenditures of the Italian Ministry of Defense (that include 130 fighter-bomber planes). 

Speaking of guns vs. butter, that's a lot of guns and very little butter!

Don't you agree?
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