A Ministry of Christian Chefs International (CCI)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May 2013

The Soul of an Apprentice 

I finally published my book, “Essential Inequality & Social Justice in an Unjust World,” this week after a year of seemingly endless nitpicking of words and phrases. In my book, I looked for causes of world hunger and poverty in our world of plenty. It doesn’t seem realistic that nearly a quarter of humanity goes hungry when there is enough food to feed everyone. 

After some research, I found a startling statistic: almost half of the world’s food is thrown away uneaten. But not only are we careless with our resources, we aren’t ethical in our buying practices. We buy things made by underpaid labor, and even children. So the problem of poverty and hunger is created by all of us, wherefore all of us are part of the solution. 

What can you do to create a more just world in which our common resources are distributed justly?
First of all, shop locally. It seems to make sense to drive a half an hour to go to the Big Box store, but the money you save by doing so, you lose in the total income that remains in your own local community. The more money you spend in your neighbors' stores, the more money there is available for education, health care, and safety. And these are all things we all need.

Secondly, by things made by well-paid labor. While you may initially feel the difference in your wallet, you will gain a safe community, for higher income average brings with it a lower crime rate. A lower crime rate makes it possible for children to attend school and gain a good education, which in turn lowers poverty.

Thirdly, by organic food. GMOs and other genetically modified foods are engineered to concentrate the profits in the hands of few, which will create poverty as family farms disappear and incomes drop.

Fourthly, by seasonal ingredients. Many farmers in poor countries produce cash crops for the First World, making it possible for us to eat foods in and out of season. But when a large portion of land is dedicated to cash crops, where is the food that the local people need to eat going to be planted? Cash crops create hunger by reducing the amount of food available in poor countries, which causes prices to soar.

Fiftly, avoid unethical companies. There are many websites that provide information about the ethics of large multinational companies. (See, for example, http://ethisphere.com/past-wme-honorees/wme2011/). People die every year in the developing countries due to unsafe work conditions. Make sure your money doesn't further this unjust and deadly practice.

Lastly, consider whether you really need those shoes you saw in the store, or whether you could live without them, and give the money to the local Rescue Mission, or sponsor a child in a developing country. There are a lot of things we want, few things we really need. Food, clean water, and a safe shelter are necessities we cannot live without, yet the lack of the most basic necessities is a grim reality for millions of people around the world.

We can all become part of the solution. It all begins with us.

Susanna Krizo 
Board of Directors, CCI