Usually I find myself using this Blog to rant and rave about work as a means to let off steam and vent a little; which is unsurprising really seeing as I spend so much time there and so little time actually at home. But for this Blog entry, I have found something else to rant and rave about that takes a good, hard look at the bigger picture of the world at large.
First of all, I wish to mention something else that has happened to me in the last few days. My friend Kate has inadvertantly introduced me to a new Blog that I have begun to follow. I say inadvertantly because she posted about the Blog on her FB status and I decided to check it out for myself. The blog is http://whatneffydidnext.blogspot.com and is written by a friend of hers who has given up her everyday life to become a volunteer in Uganda! It is a very humbling experience reading this and it is so heartfelt and honestly written that it is difficult to read the Blog without feeling touched by it. This woman is so unselfish and genuine but at the same time so remarkably brave. How many of us would be so prepared to do something like this? I know I couldn't do it! Whenever she can, which depends on whether or not she can get an Internet conection or not, she uploads her latest experiences all about what she is up to and how she is helping the locals in whatever small ways that she can. It really opens your eyes and helps you to see what life is like on the other side of the world; something that so many of us are so unfortunately blind to. We live our lives here, blissfully unaware of what is going on in third world countries or even worse, choosing not to fully acknowledge it ~thinking about these things only when the usual aid requests come in every year or when fund-raising programmes such as Comic Relief are shown. But the fact is, the way people live their lives in these countries is shocking in this day and age that we live in where, here in the West, we throw things away willy nilly and are surrounded by modern technology and all manner of worthless gadgets that we use to enhance our lives but are really so unnesssecary to our existance and survival!
Which brings me neatly around to the reason for me choosing to write today's Blog entry! Watching Jimmy's Food Factory the other night on BBC1, there is a piece all about how we manage to get tomatoes in the supermarket all year round not just in season. Many of these are imported because it costs so much energy to heat the greenhouses in this country that would provide us with all-year-round tomatoes. One farmer however had found a solution by using thrown away fruit and vegetables from the local docks to make combustible energy to fuel his greenhouses. Jimmy took a look at this food that is needlessly thrown away and I was shocked at the sight of a mountain, and that is no exaggeration, of bananas that had been classed as unaccectpable in quality and were just going to be disposed of. There was nothing wrong with these bannanas but inspectors had claimed they were "too ripe" for supermarket shelves and had so rejected them. Jimy even picked one off the pile, peeled and ate a bit of one and there was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH IT!!!!!! Now bearing in mind everything I have just discussed, about us living in a disposable culture and one full of unnessecary goods that make our lives easier admittedly but are NOT ESSENTIAL TO OUR EVERYDAY LIVES, then the notion of all this food going to waste physically disgusted me! I already do not much like waste but I have never really seen or been aware of waste on this sort of scale before. Remember, this was just bananas. Think for a moment about how much other fruit and vegetables likewise is deemed unfit for us to eat when in fact there is nothing wrong with it and it simply fails to reach an unfairly high unacceptable standard! If there is a likewise quantity of other fruit and veg, added together that makes a hell of a lot of food. Which, when there are people starving in this world or living in squalor all around the globe, is utterly and totally disgraceful. Regardless of third world countries, what about all the homeless people begging for something to eat and starving in THIS country? Surely food shelters could make good use of this "unfit" produce at little cost to ourselves? It would be better than it just going to waste and alright, so the farmer is going to make use of this wasted food but only so that he can satisfy the law of supply and demand that we as consumers have put on supermarkets so we can get tomatoes all year round! Is that really that important when there are people who do not have even one iota of our comforts and luxuries living in this world today. It is the twenty-first century for fracks sake, surely we are intelligent enough or advanced enough to come up with some kind of solution to these problems aside from the obviously good work that charities such as Comic Relief perform. Wouldn't it be nice, for example, to live in a world where Comic Relief et al were NOT NESSECARY?
These are important issues and ones that too often get swept under the carpet. I wish I knew if there was anything I could do to change things but I fear mine would be just be one lone voice in a wilderness of silence! Still I wonder that there must be some way to bring such issues to a wider audience. I canot be the only person who saw that programme and thought it was an utter disgrace.....
This world in which we live is a cruel and vicious one sometimes.....but it does put things into perspective! The next time I am pissed off and feel like moaning about trivial things like my job or the people I work with, I am going to upload Neffy's Blog or think about that programme the other night and remind myself of what is more important in life! That there are many others in this world who do not have the luxuries or the comfort that so many of us take for granted and that we are exceptionally fortunate to live our lives the way we do!