As part of the Spring Into Action campaign running from April 16 – May 1, we will be posting daily about topics related to extreme poverty and how anyone and everyone can join the movement to end it.
How often do you take time to consider where your food comes from? Think about it — the eggs you ate for breakfast were laid by a chicken on a farm. The salmon you’re grilling for dinner is a fish that used to swim in a body of water on the other side of the country. The chocolate milk you’re dipping your favorite cookie in was milked from a cow living somewhere in Montana. Due to an extensive supply chain, you can get all sorts of animal products from your local grocery store in the blink of an eye! Unfortunately, this is not the case for those living in rural villages around the world.
Take, for example, a remote village in Guatemala, where animal products are scarce, if not completely inaccessible. In communities like these, nutrient deficiencies cause conditions like anemia, malnutrition, protein deficiency, and more. However, student-run businesses at our technical school, Sikaab’e, provide the 20 surrounding communities with pigs, fresh eggs, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. By helping form cooperatives around a specific animal product, the entire region benefits.
One of my most memorable experiences with CHOICE Humanitarian’s animal production program occurred when I was in Peru last summer. There, a women’s duck cooperative provides the community with meat and additional income. As a group, we walked through the cooperative, admiring the ducks and the women’s commitment to their project. That night for dinner, some of the same women made the expeditioners a very traditional dinner to help us more fully experience the culture. They described how the potatoes and plantains were made in a clay pot that was buried underground, and how the meats were seasoned just so. And then they told us we were going to eat two of the ducks we had seen earlier. WHAT?! They were so proud of their work and the fact that they had access to their own food source — and once I quickly recovered from the fact that my feathered friends were now dinner, so was I.
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