Food for Thought
Several weeks ago I reread the extraordinary book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. In a Tweet, I challenged everyone who cares about women to read this book. One Facebook friend, a man, commented: Thanks for mentioning this book. I bought 100 copies and gave them away. We need to get this message out.
This week I started rereading another book that claims a premier spot on my bookcase. Written by Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, it’s titled Enough: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty. Bill and I both read the book immediately after its publication in 2009. It’s a brilliantly written indictment of misguided food aid practices and misuse of resources that engenders a sense of outrage in any thoughtful reader. But the book moves from outrage to inspiration, with stories of the transformation of poor communities through wise investment in agricultural development.
A major theme in the book is that “one family and one community can often do more than a big international agency to spur agricultural development and alleviate hunger.” This message was part of the motivation for Willow Creek Community Church’s support of family gardens in Zambia and Zimbabwe. And like the authors of the book, we’ve had the opportunity to see how a few packets of seeds and garden tools can move a family—and ultimately a community—from ongoing hunger into food security.
I reread the book this week because one of its authors, Roger Thurow, graciously agreed to meet with the Africa Advisory Board at Willow, to help us better understand the importance of fighting hunger through agricultural development. Roger is a compassionate, brilliant man, with a message that needs to get out. Enough is another of those rare books worth buying 100 copies to give away!