The world has gone Gangnam style crazy
Sat at my desk listening to the radio it seems South Korean rapper, Psy, has taken the world by storm with his new catchy pop song Gangnam Style. So of course I had to do a little research about this song! What was it that made this song so big, where was Gangnam and why does this song start alarms bells ringing in my head?
It’s huge popularity is evident the first time you hear its electro beats and bass. But it also turns out, Gangnam style mean to dress classy and dance cheesy. Well I’m half way there.
Gangnam style derives from the reality that is Gangnam, a 15 square mile neighbourhood in South Korea covered in designer boutiques and women with amazing style. It’s reported that living in this neighbourhood in an average apartment could cost you $700,000 – 18 times the average national salary. Yes it seems Gangnam houses the wealthiest 1% of South Korea’s population. Now alarms bells are going off in my head. It seems Gangnam style personifies our global situation where no country can escape the current system of wealth separation. One in which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. These wealth separations are throwing the hungry into states of increased levels of food deprivation and malnourishment.
Or maybe not?
It seems the world Food and Agriculture Organisation published its ‘Hunger Report’ on October 9th 2012. This report states that the fight against hunger is working as the number of under malnourished people has dropped from nearly a billion to 868 million or 1 in 8 people.
Woohoo the fight in nearly over.
Well, not exactly. In 2000 world leaders met at the United Nations to create global targets for the world, these would ensure that by 2015 poverty would be decreased. These targets are called the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
One such goal was to half the number of people living in hunger. The result of such halving should mean that by 2015 fewer than 600 million people should be living in hunger. The reality of this target is that we are closer to 900 million than 600 meaning that globally we are significantly off target.
What needs to be done to ensure we meet the MDG on hunger?
We need a radically new approach in the way we grow, share and manage food and other natural resources is needed if we are to tackle hunger.
We need our governments to take action on this to transform our food system into one that is fairer and more sustainable!
And we need to put pressure on corporations who produce food to ensure profits don’t come before farmers, consumers and the environment.
You can start by doing this in your own home. Here are a few tips:
- Next time you go shopping choose fairly and sustainably produced food, you can look for fairtrade logos and read the labels carefully to find out where your food is from. Stay tuned for a label low down blog special later in the week.
- Use every part of your food to reduce the amount you put in the bin. Nothing like some left over reinvented into a picnic for days in the park (yes, even in the winter with a lovely soup).
- Use Gangnam style to spark conversations with friends. I would even try a little expressive dancing to warm yourself up this winter and get them talking about food.
- Express your concerns to your decision markers, create dialogue through different media channels like twitter or use your blog space. Or you can help us apply pressure by signing petitions, taking pictures and using your voice with our actions on twitter by following @oxfamontour.