I go to metro every week with my roommate, and each of us end up carry back 4 heavy bags of groceries. We always have my refrigerator full of vegetables, meats, fruits, drinks and ice-creams. Besides that, also a cardboard full of snacks. That is learnt from my mom, my mom would never leave one empty space in the fridge.
I was trying to seek help from my parents for this week’s topic, and they talked a lot about the term ‘food insecurity’, and stories when they were a child.
My dad was born in a very poor family in a village of China, he is the second child in his family, and there are total 4 kids. My dad told me that the life was very hard for them that they can only have meat during the Chinese new year. The meat was a luxury to them, even eggs, my dad told me his mother only cook him eggs when he’s sick. My father left his family at the age of 16 and started to work himself. Life started to get better, but still hungry. At their teenager age, there was a policy to use ‘food tickets’ to purchase food. Why? Because China was at a time lack of food, the government need to control. I can’t imagine a life in hunger, because when I was on diet, I tried to not eat my dinner, and that was a torture for me. When I was on diet, every minute was like an hour long, and my dad had a life like that for almost 19 years.
I am a well-protected girl that my parents never leave me hungry. Even I’m not with them now, my mom always send me the recipe and when we skype, she always give me a live tutorial of how to make delicious chinese food. As I look at the first few sentence of this week’s reading, ‘Toronto is a fabulous city for eating. In this city-region of 5 million people there is no shortage of food choice, from foie gras to French fries. Comfort foods, exotic ingredients, and traditional fare of all of the city’s myriad ethno-cultural groups abound in local shops and markets year-round. Lyrical menus cater to a global palate: phad thai, tikka masala, tostadas, dim sum, sushi, ceviche.” (Lister, 150) I was like, exactly, I feel the same! I’m familiar with every single restaurant on Yonge street.
However, when Lister started to talk about the ‘food insecurity’ issues of toronto, the fact that in the year 2006 , 894, 017 people in toronto still use the food band, and 73 percent of their income are used on rent, therefore, they only have a $5 budget on their food every day. The number scares me, first I had no knowledge about the food bank, I thought it is for Africa, I’ve never thought that many people use food bank here in toronto, second, $5 per day? what can $5 do? I bought a coffee from Starbucks for $5 this morning.
A definition I found from Wikipedia of ‘food insecurity’ is defined that one is considered as food-secure when on do not live in hunger or fear of starvation.
But in fact, this issue is related to social justice, there’s a fact that many area in toronto are not covered with restaurant and grocery stores. How can the people there get the food if they don’t have a car? And why there’s no grocery stores over there? One of the stats also shown that there’s an significant amount of people over 55 are nutritionally vulnerable. Although im not familiar with the food banks, i remember that people’s donation are mostly canned food, and how could a child get enough nutrition with the canned food?
‘Food insecurity’ seems to be a very huge issue here in toronto, would there be any solutions?
Lister, Nina-Marie. Placing Food. Ryerson University.
Toronto Public Health. 2010. Toward a Healthy and Sustainable Food System for Toronto. Cultivating Food Connections.