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Recipe Swap: Developing world food security through knowledge

World Food Day is a day set aside by the UN each Oct. 16 to help us understand why the world is hungry.

Media stories focus on hunger statistics, who is hungry, and root causes of hunger on a planet producing more food than ever. It’s also a time of year when civil society groups, faith groups, NGOs talk about what they’re doing to end hunger and increase food security.

This year’s official theme, chosen by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is ‘sustainable food systems for food security and nutrition.’

Among the many voices joining the conversation about creating such systems, and what such a system would look like, is the International Federation of Home Economists, representing the discipline of home economics worldwide. The way the IFHE sees it, world hunger isn’t because there are too many people and not enough food. It’s because too few people have the necessary skills, knowledge, know-how and resources to manage their lives, families, farms, and communities.

The food system is challenged at one end by production limitations, the IFHE says. But its other challenge is a huge swath of consumers around the world who, living in poverty, lack even the most basic skills and resources to look after themselves.

Its press release additionally points to global food waste, a problem with diverse root causes worldwide, but essentially the result of too many people unable to store, preserve, prepare, manage and carefully consume food.

This could change with greater emphasis worldwide placed on educating girls and women, who are both farmers and caregivers throughout the world, because the surest form of food security is a well-managed home and family, the IFHE says.

“Women who receive basic education and training in sustainable farming and food production technologies are more able to improve the nutritional status and health of their families,” it says in a press release.

What would the world look like if women’s roles were strengthened through education and there were more supports for families? The IFHE’s vision is of a world where everyone comes from a home where they’re well fed and cared for.

World Food Day isn’t a single date on the calendar. It’s a global movement asking each and every one one of us to take action. Let’s keep thinking beyond Oct. 16 of ways to do so in our own homes, families, and communities.

Autumn Crumble

This dish can be served as a dessert with ice cream or as a side dish.

  • 2 c. acorn squash, cooked and mashed
  • 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. each ground cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 large apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • Topping
  • 1/2 c. quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/4 c. natural wheat bran
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. margarine, soft
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

With electric mixer; blend squash, brown sugar, flour, egg, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves until smooth; stir in apples, carrot and raisins. Spread in greased eight-inch square baking pan.

To make topping: Combine rolled oats, wheat bran, sugar, flour, margarine and cinnamon until crumbly; sprinkle over squash mixture. Bake in preheated 350 F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Serves 4. Source: Peak of the Market.

Onion Potato Gratin

Gratins only look complicated to prepare and they are delicious main dishes for a simple meal or a great side dish for a special occasion. This one will be a great way to try some of your fall potatoes.

  • 3 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 4 c. potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 c. white cranberry juice
  • 1 c. whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 c. cheese, finely shredded

Heat oil in large, oven-safe skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden and caramelized. Remove bay leaf and discard. Increase heat to medium high. Stir in potatoes and cranberry juice. Cook until liquid evaporates. Stir in cream and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake in preheated 375 F oven for 25 minutes. Broil on high for a few minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden.

Serves 8. Source: Peak of the Market.

About the author

Reporter

Lorraine Stevenson

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.

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