Between 2010 and 2012, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 870 million people weren’t able to eat enough to satisfy their bodies’ daily requirement of energy.
This Thanksgiving, like every Thanksgiving, the average American will eat far more than he or she needs to. The average daily caloric intake of an American is now 3,700 calories. On Thanksgiving, that average jumps to 4,500.
Many of us will sit around large tables, eating too much, drinking too much, and avoiding conversations about religion or politics. Someone will fall into a tryptophan coma. Someone might joke that we should clear our plates because people are starving in Africa. We are thankful for the 4,500 calories in our bellies. It’s time to watch professional sports on TV.
Meanwhile, people really are starving all around the world.
The hungriest places on Earth
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DES MOINES, Iowa — This year’s World Food Prize went to three biotech engineers, all of whom have been instrumental in bringing genetically modified foods to your table.
Inside the Marriott Hotel in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, where the prize’s four-day program took place October 15-18, the message was clear: Technology is the answer to the world’s looming food shortages, and anyone who gets in the way isn’t putting farmers and the hungry first.
And you have to admire the laureates for their candor.
In their prepared press statements, they couldn’t have been clearer about what the prize means to them.
“The committee’s decision to award the World Food Prize to biotechnology researchers,” said Mary-Dell Chilton of Syngenta in a press release, “will help convey to consumers the value, utility and safety of genetically modified crops.”
Commentary: And the prize goes to … genetically modified foods
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Some of Peru’s tastiest exotic fruits and veggies, by Simeon Tegel.
Find out what they are.
It’s National Burger Day…
Photo by chotda via Flickr Commons
NEED TO KNOW
Ship meets land. Doesn’t go well. At least five people are dead after a container ship smashed into a control tower in the port of Genoa, northern Italy.
The inaptly named Jolly Nero seems to have suffered an engine failure and swung out of control as it was leaving the docks late last night – just as a shift change was taking place in the port control tower. The tower was almost entirely destroyed and several people are still missing, feared trapped either under the rubble or in the water around the docks. Costa Concordia, take two? Police say they’re investigating.
The rebels are leaving. Kurdish militants have begun withdrawing from Turkey after 30 years of armed struggle that have cost more than 40,000 lives. Under a historic peace deal signed last month, armed members of the PKK rebel group will trek out of Turkey and into their safe havens in the mountains of Iraq. In turn, Turkish authorities will draft a new constitution that is expected to enshrine rights for minorities, including Kurds.
For both sides, the stakes are high. But will the peace hold?
WANT TO KNOW
Going inside the gulags. The United Nations has named the panel that will lead the first ever UN investigation into human rights in North Korea. Three international experts on abuses and war crimes will be responsible for establishing whether Pyongyang has, as defectors say, imprisoned, tortured and executed thousands of its own people.
North Korea’s leaders have, to no one’s surprise, refused to cooperate with the inquiry. Not so their alleged victims: just hours after they were appointed, the UN team say they were inundated with requests from people wishing to testify.
The secrets of Seymour Avenue. Police in Cleveland, Ohio, are hoping to get some answers from the men accused of kidnapping and imprisoning three young women in a suburban home, undetected, for 10 long years. Authorities have until tonight to file charges against brothers Ariel, Pedro and Onil Castro, thought to be the only people – apart from the victims – who know what went on inside 2207 Seymour Avenue.
The suspects aren’t the only ones who owe answers. Amid reports of years of suspicious activity at the house, many are demanding to know how the police missed what was right in their backyard.
A not-so-perfect crime. Remember the Brussels diamond heist? You know, the one where thieves drove onto an airport runway and broke into the hold of a plane to nab $50 million of uncut diamonds? And got away with it?
Yeah, about that. Police today arrested 31 people in Belgium, Switzerland and France in connection with the robbery. Wads of money and some of the stones have been recovered. Prosecutors say the thieves, who stood to go down in history for one of the biggest heists ever seen, were “professionals.” Just not professional enough.
STRANGE BUT TRUE
French fries. Cheese curds. Gravy. You might want to eat poutine, Canada’s own comfort food, but surely only someone seriously addicted – and incapacitated – would want to drink it. And yet. That’s precisely what Jones Soda is offering you, for a limited time only, the chance to do. Oh yes, their poutine-flavored pop isn’t just liquid – it’s fizzy.
Taste testers say it’s not “quite so instantly repulsive that I had to spit it out” (the brand’s next advertising slogan, surely), but pretty appalling nonetheless. Only available in Canada, you say? Fine by us.
Yes, yes, we do.
We heard Chickpeas is great in this.
“It used to be that when Israel and Lebanon were not actually at war, they engaged in well-publicized proxy battles over hummus.
"But in a world gone upside-down, it now appears that the Commonwealth of Virginia may actually be winning the war. Which war? The chick-pea war!"
What’s Virginia got to do with hummus?
Discovering Gazan cuisine: Two U.S. women set out to explore cuisine in Gaza – and produced a unique cookbook that is a rich trove of recipes as well as a fascinating anthropological document.
President Barack Obama will be eating kosher when he arrives to stay at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel for a summit meeting next week, after the hotel switches to a menu designed around religious dietary restrictions ahead of the Passover holiday.
What does that mean for the president?
Photo by AFP/Getty Images
BANGKOK, Thailand — More auspicious than delicious, shark fin is rubbery in both taste and texture. While its flavor is muted, a bowl of shark fin soup says plenty in traditional Chinese culture: The hosts have money and they’re generous enough to spread it around.
But in Asia, the soup’s culinary home turf, the dish is increasingly regarded as, well, tasteless. Anti-finning advocates, armed with gruesome facts about threatened shark species, are attacking shark fin’s reputation as a status-boosting delicacy. Their mission: to see the culinary tradition die off before the sharks do.
In Asia, tide slowly turning against shark fin soup
Photo by AFP/Getty Images
According to a study published Thursday in the journal BMC Medicine, consumption of processed meats — bacon, sausage, hot dogs — in anything beyond extreme moderation may prove a fatal choice.
Study connects bacon, premature death [PHOTOS]
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