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Let Them Eat…Puff Pastries?!?

Scott on June 7, 2008 at 12:50 pm

This last week there was a UN-sponsored Food Security Summit in Rome in which 181 countries sent delegates to discuss a series of matters related to world hunger.

An important issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible, if not sooner.

But when I heard about the menu being served at the various dinners during the week I didn’t know whether to hang my head in sadness or laugh out loud in disbelief. According to the Associated Press, the various meals included:

- puff pastries with corn and mozzarella

- pasta with pumpkin and shrimp

- rolls of thinly sliced veal served

- cheese mousse

- parmesan risotto

- Pasta with pesto

- Cheese and tomatoes

- Beef steak with a tricolore side dish of vegetables and pistachio

- Vanilla and strawberry ice cream

- lemon mousse with raspberry sauce.

- chilled white wine from Orvieto in the hills of Umbria north of Rome.

When asked about the menu, Nick Parsons (the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization spokesperson) said:

“It’s pretty standard stuff. The menu is pleasant, light and nutritious.”

And when asked to comment, Alexander Woollcombe (spokesman for the British aid group Oxfam) said:

“Leaders can eat what they want as long as they take decisive action to deliver the policies and the aid in agriculture that is needed to ensure that poor people who are suffering from high food prices are helped.”

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that if these people were really serious about doing something about hunger, their menu would reflect more of an empathetic perspective. Why not feature menus that reflect what the poor are ACTUALLY having to eat around the globe? Perhaps one night they eat nothing but rice and rotting corn starch porridge. The next night they eat a few bugs with some sort of boiled, nonseasoned root. And then the next night they all sit there and stare at empty plates. And each night they can wash it all down with dirty and/or contaminated water.

Then, just maybe, all these delegates will be motivated to “…take decisive action to deliver the policies and the aid in agriculture that is needed…”

Unbelievable.

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