Category : Dieting/Food/Nutrition

(CT) DL Mayfield–How Government Support Saved Me; Signing up for food stamps changed my view of poverty in America

Just a few months ago, my family stopped qualifying for government cheese.

It came as a little bit of a surprise to me—I had, after all, been a part of the WIC (women, infants, and children) program for almost seven years, starting with my first child. My daughter was born two months early due to life-threatening complications and I was never able to breastfeed. WIC supplied the formula, an expense that would have been a huge blow to our family’s finances. As my husband and I took turns getting our graduate degrees, WIC provided us with milk, cheese, eggs, and a few other essentials, and when we were support-raising missionaries living in immigrant and refugee neighborhoods for three years, we used our WIC vouchers along with all of our neighbors.

Two years ago when my second child was born, I wasn’t able to work, and while moving across the country, our only car broke down. By the time we finally found an apartment to live in and a job for my husband, we didn’t even have enough money to buy curtains for our windows. We applied for food stamps, or SNAP, along with WIC, and I don’t know what we would have done without it for those few months. I felt sweet relief being able to go to the grocery store, swipe my card, and purchase food for my family. Each time, I was incredibly grateful for my country.

In light of where my family is now, it’s important for me to take a moment and remember those feelings—both the stress of not having money to buy essentials and the gratitude for any small breaks.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Personal Finance & Investing, Poverty, Religion & Culture

Boko Haram traps starving people in Nigeria, UN warns

Two million people are teetering on the brink of famine in northeastern Nigeria but efforts to reach some are being thwarted by Boko Haram jihadists, the UN’s food agency said Thursday.

More than 20 million people across Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen, are in areas hit by drought and are experiencing famine or are at high risk of famine in “the biggest crisis we have seen in the past 50 years”, said Denise Brown, emergency coordinator for the UN’s World Food Programme.

“While they are all in difficulty, northeastern Nigeria is one that has got under our skin at WFP,” she added.

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Posted in Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Nigeria, Poverty, Terrorism

(WCC) Ending famine in India depends on all religions and cultures

Fr Nithiya Sagayam, national coordinator of the Association of Franciscan Families of India (AFFI), is gravely concerned that the global response to extreme poverty is too low in almost every country while, he says, “corporations continue to grow richer and richer.”

This doesn’t just affect some people and not others, Sagayam believes. “The social security of every last person is at risk,” he says.

As the World Council of Churches (WCC), All Africa Conference of Churches and other partners invite churches, organizations and individuals to join a Global Day of Prayer to End Famine on 21 May, Sagayam said he is grateful for the opportunity for fellowship and public engagement. He believes the Global Day of Prayer to End Famine provides a way of getting in touch with what he describes as “the forgotten people.”

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Posted in Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ecumenical Relations, Globalization, Poverty, Religion & Culture

(60 Minutes) A profile of Chobani Yogurt Founder Hamdi Ulukaya–Creating Jobs in America

Sensing an opportunity Hamdi set off to the small village of New Berlin, New York, to have a look. There he found the last employees of the last plant in the area closing it down.

Hamdi Ulukaya: I remember like yesterday. It’s like this sadness in this whole place. Like as if somebody died, like, somebody important died.

Steve Kroft: Two hundred jobs?

Hamdi Ulukaya: Two hundred jobs was gone.

Former employees Frank Price, Maria Wilcox and Rich Lake were among the mourners that day.

Rich Lake: Your whole livelihood’s gone. You don’t really know what you’re gonna do or where you’re gonna go….

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, America/U.S.A., Corporations/Corporate Life, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Immigration, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Turkey

(Bloomberg) Boko Haram Conflict Cuts Nigeria Wheat Crop as Farmers Flee

Wheat growers in Nigeria’s northeast have abandoned their farms under the onslaught of the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency, a setback for the country’s efforts to cut imports by boosting local production, a research agency said.

“Wheat production in the zone has declined to just 20 percent of what it used to be due to insurgency,” Oluwashina Olabanji, executive director of the Lake Chad Research Institute, said in an interview in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital. Borno, which used to account for about a quarter of Nigeria’s production, currently grows no wheat, he said.

Nigeria produced an average of 80,000 metric tons of wheat a year for decades until the introduction of a new variety in the 2012-13 season that tripled the average yield to as much as 6 tons per hectare (2.47 acres), increasing output to 400,000 tons in 2015-16 as more areas were cultivated, according to the institute. This compares with the output of 3.3 million tons during the same period by Ethiopia, sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest producer.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Nigeria, Terrorism

UN: The Risk is rapidly rising of mass starvation in Nigeria, Somlia, South Sudan+Yemen

The risk of mass starvation in four countries – northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen – is rapidly rising due to drought and conflict, the U.N. refugee agency said on Tuesday.

“We are raising our alarm level today that the risk of mass deaths from starvation among populations in the Horn of Africa, Yemen and Nigeria is growing,” UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards told a news briefing.

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Posted in Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Poverty

(ABC Aus) South Sudan famine declared as 100,000 people face starvation

It takes a lot to declare a famine.

If a population can’t find enough food it’s not strictly a famine. Nor is it famine if one third of the population is severely malnourished.

The United Nations’ definition of famine is when three conditions coincide: at least 20 per cent of a population faces extreme food shortages, 30 per cent of people experience acute malnutrition, and at least two people per 10,000 die every day.

This week both the UN and the World Food Program agreed with South Sudan’s decision to declare a state of famine in parts of the country’s south.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --South Sudan, Africa, Anthropology, Defense, National Security, Military, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Poverty, Sudan, Theology

The Archbishop of York gets busy in the kitchen as he begins his 21 Deanery mission

The Archbishop of York swapped his mitre for a toque blanche when he visited a Michelin-starred eatery in North Yorkshire.

Dr John Sentamu was invited into the kitchen of The Star Inn at Harome near Helmsley by chef Andrew Pern as part of the mission in the deanery of Northern Ryedale.

Dr Sentamu, a keen cook, enjoyed a tour of the kitchen and tried his hand at creating a pheasant dish.

The visit comes as Dr Sentamu embarks on a mission to join all 21 deaneries in the Diocese of York over weekends throughout 2017 and 2018.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, England / UK, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Religion & Culture

(NYT) We’ll Grow Again’: Bangladesh Cafe Attacked by Terrorists Reopens

By the time the ordeal ended, 10 hours later, 22 people, including two police officers, were dead, the restaurant spattered with blood and shattered glass.

For months, Dhaka’s diplomatic quarter was a spooked place. Restaurants were empty night after night. Foreigners no longer left the safety of their compounds. Young Bangladeshis found themselves wondering who they could trust: Several of the terrorists came from wealthy, cosmopolitan families, not so different from the young elites who died in the siege.

In an effort to break this trance, the restaurant’s owners decided to reopen the Holey, known for its flour-dusted baguettes and homemade pasta. One of the owners, Ali Arsalan, said he was inspired in part by the staff: When he paid them two months’ salary and suggested they return to their villages to recover from the trauma, they said they would prefer to go back to work

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Asia, Bangladesh, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Terrorism, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Bloomberg) Nobody Is Eating Out Anymore, They're Just Ordering Pizza

In a year when U.S. restaurant chains have bemoaned sluggish traffic, competition from supermarket food and even the chilling effect of the presidential election, one area has continued to thrive: pizza.

Shares of Domino’s Pizza Inc. are up 45 percent this year. And Papa John’s International Inc. is up more than 60 percent. Compare that with a 3.4 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Restaurants Index.

The reasons are pizza is cheap, fast and increasingly easy to get — thanks to user-friendly mobile-ordering apps and technology that lets diners order from Facebook, Twitter and Apple TV. That’s helped insulate pizza chains from a shift away from eating out.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology

Lovely Story about a Michigan Restaurant Owner's Generosity

Every Thanksgiving for the past 10 years, George Dimopoulos has done something amazing.

It’s not that he shuts down his Northville, Michigan restaurant, called George’s Senate Coney Island. It’s that he opens it up even more than usual.

If you are homeless or even just alone for Thanksgiving (or Easter!), you can get a free meal at George’s.

“I’m a very good cook,” he told TODAY.com. “I cook a lot of good food, and I give a lot of food to people. I don’t tell people that I do this; I do this because I believe in God and believe that there are people who need a little help.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Corporations/Corporate Life, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Personal Finance, Poverty, Stewardship, Theology

Tuesday Morning Encouragement–this NFL Star Traded Football Field for the Farm Field

Former NFL player Jason Brown was earning millions of dollars on the gridiron but, at the height of his career, he left it all behind to pursue a wildly-different life on the farm focused on giving.

Watch it all from NBC. For those interested, there is more there.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Sports, Stewardship, Theology

(NYT) South Sudan Leaders Amass Great Wealth as Nation Suffers, Report Says

Leaders of the two sides responsible for mass killings and rapes in the South Sudan conflict have amassed enormous wealth inside and outside the country, at least some of it illegally, according to an investigative report released on Monday by a Washington advocacy group.

The families and top associates of the principal opponents in the conflict, President Salva Kiir and his rival and former vice president, Riek Machar, own multimillion-dollar properties, drive luxury cars and stay at expensive hotels, “all while much of their country’s population suffers from the consequences of a brutal civil war and, in many places, experiences near-famine conditions,” according to the report.

Neither of the two men nor members of their immediate families are among the half-dozen South Sudanese officials facing the international sanctions imposed last year. But the report said the leaders had “benefited financially from the continuing war and have effectively ensured that there is no accountability for their human rights violations and financial crimes.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --South Sudan, Africa, Anthropology, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Poverty, Sudan, Theology

UN Warns Nigeria Faces 'A Famine Unlike Any We Have Ever Seen Anywhere'

Nigeria is on the brink of “a famine unlike any we have ever seen anywhere”, according to the United Nations.

Nearly a quarter of a million children in Nigeria’s north east are severely malnourished, according to the UN’s Assistant Secretary-General Toby Lanzer.

Millions more are thought to be starving in refugee camps that are too dangerous for aid agencies to reach.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Nigeria, Politics in General, Poverty, Theology

(CC) At Princeton Theological Seminary, students get their hands dirty

The students’ assignment was to spend half an hour walking around the farm and observing things. They could inspect the pond and grassy spaces. They could look into the hoop house, where lettuce, spinach, kale, onions, parsnips, and carrots had sprouted. They could search for nests and cocoons in the trees and bushes, which were still wet from a heavy rain. The aim was to take the time to notice parts of the 21-acre farm they might otherwise overlook. It was an exercise in paying attention.

When the students reconvened, one of them showed the professor, Nathan Stucky, a photo she had taken. What was this cluster of spheres covered with red spikes, wondered Lindsay Clark. Was it something made by an insect? (Clark later looked it up and found that it was a fungus that affects apples and cedars.)

In small groups, the students shared what they had seen on their excursions. The information they gleaned was not as important as the experience of slowing down and just looking, without having to worry about being productive. The discussion ran to the importance of recognizing the value in what is, rather than focusing on a result, whether a crop yield or a test score. Stucky posed a question: “What if the role of the teacher is to help people become fully themselves?”

The discussion was part of a class at Princeton Theological Seminary called Scripture and Food.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology