Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

Globalization and World Hunger: The Role of FCS

Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

Globalization and World Hunger: The Role of FCS

Article excerpt

Inasmuch as social deficiencies breed malcontent, it is not difficult to understand the resulting dissonance in physical, social, emotional, and relational well-being not only between individuals but also within and between communities and groups and between nations. The proverbial "haves" and "have-nots" continue to be opposing forces in society seeking to "acquire more" or to "give up less" in order to coexist with less vulnerability in a rapidly changing political world community.

In the context of these global nuances, many assumptions have been refined and restated. The issues of social intolerance are rooted in a perception of inequity and insufficiency, which invariably promote fear and inadequacy or a threat to one's sense of comfort and safety-real or unreal. At a time when helping professions such as home economics has given way to family and consumer sciences-a less practical and more research driven academic discipline-families are challenged to find the right navigational tools to help them cross the social, emotional, and often physical chasms, and thus create for themselves a stable, predictable, more comfortable, and safer environment.

This article draws on the issue of eliminating hunger. Using data from Latin America and the Caribbean, the article explores the issues of globalization, collaboration, and interdependence as important strategies for building bridges to development. The rhetorical questions embedded in the article are meant to stimulate reflection and examination of the reader's sense of what is possible from his or her own vantage point.

Key Freedoms

Hodelin (2000a) drew attention to the fact that the United Nations, a body to which all modern nations have subscribed, has reduced its 30 articles to seven key freedoms. These key freedoms are meant to provide all the rudiments for decency and reasonable living standards for all people, irrespective of geography or politics.

The seven key freedoms postulated in the Human Development Report are:

1. Freedom from discrimination by: gender, race, ethnicity, national origin or religion.

2. Freedom from want-to enjoy a decent standard of living.

3. Freedom to develop and realize one's human potential.

4. Freedom from fear-of threats to personal security, from torture, arbitrary arrests; freedom from enslavement of one form or another, and other violent acts.

5. Freedom from injustice and violations of the rule of law.

6. Freedom of thought and speech and to participate in decision-making and to form associations.

7. Freedom for decent work-to earn a living without exploitation.

(Hodelin 2000a, p. 84)

Research is not required to determine that all people around the globe (or even within any given country) are not experiencing these freedoms in a sustained way. The news media delivers this news every day. Prolonged civil unrest is not only a way of life in underdeveloped nations with large balance of payments for national foreign debts, but it also is a way of life in some developed countries where the per capita income is significantly higher. So even if a country is prosperous, this is not a guarantee that its people are enjoying wealth and success.

Millennium Development Goals

It was reported at the 29th Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean that food security is an important element of national security. If this is indeed a well-understood truth, then the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDG) introduced in 2005 will be seen in a whole new light. Achieving the first of the eight millennium development goals-eradicating extreme poverty and hunger-would not only be a major strategy for bridging the divide for quality of life reflected in the other seven goals, but also it would significantly reduce much of the motivation for civil unrest and discord within nations.

This approach sounds simple enough; the cynics will probably say this is a simplistic response to a complex issue. …

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