Table for 7 Billion, Please

image4This Thursday, millions of Americans will come together to celebrate their families for Thanksgiving. The star of the show on this holiday should be, of course, gratitude, but more so, many people think of the food that nourishes our bodies, satisfies our cravings, and gives us that infamous turkey-induced nap.

Food, for as long as humans have existed, has been the backbone of much our interactions with one another, and it’s a topic that continues to affect all 7 billion beings on this planet. The gathering, hunting, scavenging, (now) shopping, preparation, cooking, and consumption of food have always been activities that, in some form or fashion, continue to be integral parts of our days. At the same time, dealing with a lack of food itself is just as prevalent of an issue.

According to the World Food Programme, roughly “one in nine” people in the world don’t have enough to eat to live an active, healthy lifestyle, and “the vast majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries, where 13.5 percent of the population is undernourished.”

Highlighting this problem and many others within the international food system is the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C. Earlier this month, I ventured over to the museum with an entrepreneurial friend who works in the food business itself. The exhibit, or Food: Our Global Kitchen, featured “the complex and intricate food system that brings what we eat from farm to fork. In sections devoted to growing, transporting, cooking, eating, tasting, and celebrating, the exhibition illuminates how our world eats and the future of food.”

From this exhibit, I learned about typical meals in several countries, the source points for many of the ingredients in the dishes I made today, food prep, and the science behind why we crave certain foods – like sugar. Given the eye-opening nature of the exhibit, I took a step back and began to reflect on my own relationship, cultural practices, and attitude towards food and the many ways young people can develop a greater awareness of global food practices.

For this edition of Bucket List, we encourage you learn about on these differing practices on what we consume here and abroad. Here are some resources to get you started on your self-education, for understanding meal practices is an important part of being culturally aware.

Watch | Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknownanthony-bourdain

This Thanksgiving, consider bringing cultural (and culinary!) aspects of some lesser known cultures to your living room after the turkey’s gone. For four seasons, renowned chef, best-selling author, TV host, and world traveler Anthony Bourdain has been bringing Parts Unknown to the television sets of thousands of viewers each season. With some 538,000 viewers for last September’s premiere and new episodes released this month, check out the show this weekend. According to a recent Fast Company feature on Bourdain:

“Forget about four-star hotels or luxury spa treatments: Bourdain is on a mission to illuminate underappreciated and misunderstood cultures, whether it’s Myanmar or Detroit. He regularly takes viewers to the sorts of places—Libya, Gaza, Congo—that most Americans know only from grim headlines about political strife and body counts. Bourdain does all of this with vivid narrative reporting, stunning visuals, palpable empathy, and a relentlessly open mind. The show has so far been nominated for 11 Emmys and has won three (most recently for Best Informational Series or Special). This year it was also awarded a prestigious Peabody.”

Stream | BBC’s The Future of FoodFood, Inc., and Our Daily Bread

Want to know the state of the union on global food? Unlike many paid documentaries, the BBC’s The Future of Food is a free flick that offers insight into some of the high-level trends currently impacting our global food system and a prognosis of it if change doesn’t come about soon. Similarly, Food, Inc. remains a classic when discussing food production, and it’s available to watch on Netflix. Finally, if you’re left with no words after watching this clip from the documentary Our Daily Bread, it’s understandable; the clips has no words, so you’re left to your own devices on interpreting what happens in the Western production of food.

Read | Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems

This read on global food continues to be a hot find on Goodreads. In this book, author Phillip Ackerman-Leist  “refocuses the local-food lens on the broad issue of rebuilding regional food systems that can replace the destructive aspects of industrial agriculture, meet food demands affordably and sustainably, and be resilient enough to endure potentially rough times ahead.”

Volunteer | Oxfam America’s Action Corps

According to the Oxfam America website, “The Action Corps is a group of trained grassroots advocates in 15 US cities who organize with other local volunteers in support of our GROW campaign for policies that will save lives, defend the rights of women and farmers, and protect communities worldwide from rising food prices and climate change. It includes a free national advocacy and leadership training for select participants.”

GROW-method-placemat

Attend | Meal Sharing

Never dine alone again. Here at Everyday Ambassador, we truly believe that sharing a meal with someone can be one of the most intimate and enlightening experiences people can have one another, and we’re not talking about meeting up with your friends or romantic interests. Pull up a chair at the table for 7 billion, and have a home-cooked meal with someone else through the site Meal Sharing. On the website, find a host, request a meal, or open your own doors to guests for this experience to share a hometown, a new recipe, and a new connection.

Act | Real Food Media’s Food MythBusters

Is “the more, the better” applicable when it comes to food production? Think again says Food MythBusters host Anna Lappé. This multimedia platform dispels myths in the food industry and offers ways for you to get involved, to debunk your friends’ and family’s ideas about food, and to unleash your inner activist with their “Action Items”.

Support | One Acre FundOAF_Logo_sm

This holiday season consider giving to this award-winning nonprofit, One Acre Fund, that provides asset-based financing and training for sustainable, agricultural solutions. According to the organization’s website, “One Acre Fund is growing quickly and we are proud to soon represent Africa’s largest network of smallholder farmers. By 2020, we will serve at least 1 million farm families – with more than 5 million people living in those families. And our farmers will produce enough surplus food to feed another 5 million of their neighbors.”

Research | United Nations’ Food Security Links

Need to research on this topic for an upcoming paper? This resource has links to many organizations and initiatives working in this space. If you’d like more ideas on ho w you can continue to tackle this issue beyond what’s already been suggested, have look.

Have some resources we didn’t cover? Feel free to leave a comment below, and we may feature your message in an upcoming post.


“Bucket List” is a weekly series curated by Everyday Ambassador brand strategist Audrey del Rosario. Every Saturday, we will feature events, conferences, and happenings that spark conversation and ignite your inner activist. To stay current with our latest posts, follow #bucketlist or #EAinspired on our other platforms, and check back regularly for updates.

Image Credit: Audrey del Rosario, Taiganfinds.com, Oxfam America, One Acre Fund



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