This evening I was planning on editing and sharing my notes from Dr. Susan I. Barr's excellent session on Canada's Food Guide presented at the Dietetics in Action education day. But about an hour ago I received an email message from Avaaz.org that convinced I should learn more about the global food crisis -- NOW. I am reproducing the message here word-for-word so that you can follow the links (Avaaz backs up the statements with published sources) and decide whether you want to sign the petition. I did.
Have you noticed food costing more when you shop? Here's why -- we're plunging headlong into a world food crisis. Rocketing prices are squeezing billions and triggering food riots from Bangladesh to South Africa. Aid agencies say 100 million more people are at risk of starvation right now. In Sierra Leone alone the price of a bag of rice has doubled, becoming unaffordable for 90% of citizens. Fears of inflation stalk the whole world, and the worst could be yet to come.
Rocketing prices threaten to starve millions and make us all less secure -- sign the emergency petition for action to stop the world food crisis
We need to act now -- before it's too late. As Ban Ki-Moon holds a high-level UN meeting on the crisis, we're launching an urgent campaign with African foreign minister and human rights campaigner Zainab Bangura. Click below to see Zainab's video message and add your name to the food crisis petition -- we need to raise 200,000 signatures by the end of this week to deliver a massive global outcry to leaders at the UN, G8 and EU:
The prices of staple foods like wheat, corn and rice have almost doubled, and the crisis is slipping out of control -- so we're calling for immediate action on emergency food aid, speculation and biofuels policy, while asking forthcoming summits to tackle deeper problems of investment and trade.
The global food crisis touches and connects us all, creating a tsunami of hunger for the poor and damaging economies and squeezing citizens in the rich world too. But solutions are on the horizon if leaders act fast  -- sign the petition at the link below now, then forward this email and ask friends and family to do the same:
Paul, Galit, Ricken, Graziela, Iain, Mark, Pascal and the whole Avaaz team
1. BBC: "How to stop the global food crisis": http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7365798.stm
"The New Economics of Hunger", Washington Post, 27 April 2008 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/26/AR2008042602041_pf.html
2. Zainab Bangura, Foreign Minister of Sierra Leone, video message to Avaaz members http://www.avaaz.org/en/world_food_crisis/9.php
3. Chinese news citing World Bank figures: http://www.cctv.com/english/20080426/102406.shtml
Reuters: "Rising food prices to top UN agenda" http://www.reuters.com/article/gc08/idUSL1890947220080424
4. See BBC article above, and "Rising Food Prices" by Alex Evans (Chatham House report) http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/files/11422_bp0408food.pdf
UN scientific report on fixing the world food system: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7347239.stm
The Guardian: "Credit crunch? The real crisis is global hunger", George Monbiot http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/apr/15/food.biofuels
Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Washington DC, and Geneva.