Cherish your food

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 February, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 February, 2010, 12:00am

The financial crisis, coupled with rising food prices, is really hurting the poorest countries in Africa and Latin America. According to official estimates, more than a billion people are undernourished. If developed countries do not help, more people will die from starvation.

Many poor families have to reduce their spending on education, clothes and basic medical care for the sake of a meal. On the other hand, Hongkongers take food and education for granted. When we go to a restaurant, we waste food, while some students don't care about their studies. We need to reflect on our lifestyle.

The world has enough food for everyone, but why does a child die every six seconds from malnutrition? I hope developed countries will donate food and resources to poverty-stricken nations. They need our help. Starvation could lead to an unstable political environment and eventually trigger the third world war.

Winnie Yeung Wing-lam, Tin Ka Ping Secondary School

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Wing-lam. It is easy to believe that if we consumed less in richer countries, there would be more left over for poorer countries. This is not entirely true. If we eat less here, it would just mean that farmers where we buy our food would earn less money. We need to cherish our food and eat sparingly because of environmental issues.

But this is not only true of food. Hong Kong is a huge 'consumer'. As it is not a producer, everything that reaches us has to be imported. Many of the things we buy are unnecessary and cause all sorts of social and environmental problems. Perhaps we should ask people to become accustomed to only taking what they need instead of what they want, and to tread more lightly on the earth.

Susan, Editor