Here, there, everyWHERE

I’m not sure how many if you saw the sign Im referring to in val but I’m sure you all have seen the antiWaste campaigns going down. As admirable as they might be, the could try making food that people don’t want to throw away. But of course, that’s another subject all together.

What is a propos for this blog and this class is the quickly removed and even more hastily defaced sign val put up ALS christian children’s fund. It was terrible. Granted wasting 319 lbs of food for one meal of the day is not optimal or acceptable, that doesn’t mean that you bees to send ur unwanted food scraps to Africa. I mean, they tired to be “official” with it, having there stats footnoted. But I mean damn, does it have to be Africa.

Not to mention the shout out to our Tomb Raider conversation. The unknown clumped together people in Sub Saharan Africa not only eat the same amount of food, on average, no matter how big that area is but they are also all the same. As if Africa is one big country. Not only is the grouping of Sub Saharan problematic, but the statement the sign makes is that the people “down there” eat a different amount then those in the rest of Africa. The might as well have said that the skinni spear chuckers eat way less then us so we can feed more of them with our waste. The whole thing pisses me off to start cause either way no one can be feed with our waste. Do they really want to feed “unknown Africa” with our food scraps like pigs eating slop. You would think, at arguably one of the top academic centers of the country ppl would watch their mouths. In the end, it’s a reflection on how deep this preverbial rabbit hole goes.

On a side note, mobile blogging = fire

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4 Responses

  1. I think you make a good point. Your post also brings up the question of why is it that we always say something along the lines of “Don’t waste food, there are starving kids in Africa.” Why do we immediately think of Africa when we think of the poor or hungry? We could very well say “Don’t waste food, there are starving, impoverished children living in the Appalachian Mountains.”

  2. I was just waiting for someone to pick up on that sign at Val or I would have talked about it myself. I totally agree with you. While it is fine and good that we are trying to raise awareness about waste, I found the sign very annoying. 319 lbs of food wasted could feed 145 ANYONES for an entire day , even the very Amherst students that wasted it. Why does it have to be attached to Sub-Saharan Africa to have meaning?

    It’s not as if people in Sub-Saharan Africa are just waiting for food to drop from the sky and so they can eat every scrap of food they can find. I’m Ghanaian and I can tell you that people wasted just as much food in my high school in Cantonments, Accra and they do in Amherst College, even though there ARE starving people across the street from them.

    I find this notion of ‘Do what’s right for the starving Africans’ sake’ very problematic.

  3. I was pretty surprised with the sign too. I agree that the waste could have fed anyone, and we don’t need to travel as far as Sub-Saharan Africa to find hungry people. Why didn’t the sign say the waste could have fed people at the Amherst Homeless Shelter? Another related issue is how most biology textbooks, when talking about malnutrition, always show malnourished African children. Perhaps it’s time we understand that poverty exists everywhere, especially in our own neighborhoods, and not just Africa.

  4. Although the sign is repugnant and shows a lack of intelligence by the people who actually decided to put it up, they are not totally the ones to blame. It’s the media. For years (not sure how many) there have been numerous commercials about the starving people in Africa. These images have been embedded in our head so frequently that “Starving” and “Africa” have somewhat become synonymous. It is true that poverty exists everywhere, and that we should probably take care of home first, but people, the government, and the media have their own agenda (I blame neocolonialism).

    There is also this notion of what is available for people. America is thought of as primarily modern, and a land of opportunity, so there are resources that anyone can get to, no matter what their class status is (ie, unemployment, foodstamps, some type of gov. help). On the other hand, “Africa” is not seen that way. The concept of Africa is always provided in the context of an uncivilized, non-modern view. This is how Africa is taught in schools, and this is how many Americans “see” Africa. What is not publicized is that Africa is more than 35% urban. So taken into account what is assumed to be known and what is actually known, people in America feel that it is more beneficial to give help to a place with little resources. People often feel that helping people closest to them will not be beneficial because those people have access to the same resources.

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