In a message to the president, Saraiva defends an “urgent plan for the conservation of food through the use of available technology. It is the Freeze-Dry technology, a method to dehydrate by freezing, which has been extraordinarily effective in the preservation of food products. Food occupies less physical space and is easier to handle so that it may be stored in prevention of the occurrence of natural disasters, war and hunger.
- The situation of Haiti obliges us once more to work in that direction. We will not be taken by surprise by catastrophes if we are competent in adopting preventive measures - he says.
EGYPTIANS USED TO STOCK THEIR FOOD
Saraiva reminded him that more than 4,000 years ago, without the technological advantages we have today, Egyptians were relatively successful at stocking up their food supplies for long shortage periods, an exemplary demonstration of maturity.
– In your capacity as President of the most powerful country in the world, Your Excellency may reach out to the people who are suffering hunger as a result of economic and political instability and terrorism, plagues that flourish in times of great poverty - he suggested president Obama.
– In the 60s, during the administration of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the United States created a program to assist South American countries. It was called “Alliance for Progress” and lasted until 1969. It was a weapon against communism in Cold War times – recalled Saraiva.
UNITED NATIONS RECEIVED THE PROPOSAL
In April 2008, Saraiva wrote to the president of the WFP Executive Board – World Food Program, in Rome (Italy) José Eduardo Barbosa, pointing out food preservation as a successful way out for countries hit by hunger. Later, he was informed that the project was being supported by the pertinent technical divisions.
On that occasion, he sent that proposal to the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil, who channeled it through the Ministry of Social Development and Fight against Hunger "for analysis and action".
He emphasized that “terrorism is the great threat of today and therefore the same principles that inspired the Alliance for Progress subsist”. He states his belief that President Obama can create his own program, "Food for Peace" using the strategic importance of the Freeze Dry technology”.
TESTED BY ASTRONAUT AND MILITARY
Freeze-drying makes it possible to preserve perishable elements from destruction by active principles, bacteria and other threats. Everything is frozen and water is removed by sublimation, without going through the liquid state. It is a method frequently used to produce dry ice sherbet and food for the United States military and astronauts.
- Developing countries, including Islamic countries, will be pleased with your choice due to your vision of the world. We are pleased with your African ancestry, which is shared by more than fifty percent of Brazilian citizens. Thus, we feel that because of your history, Your Excellency is in a privileged position to understand the afflicting situation of those who are in extreme need - writes Saraiva.
OREGON FREEZE DRY
Saraiva suggested Obama to invite Doctor Herbert Aschkenasy, president of Oregon Freeze Dry, to participate in the eventual launching of the Project, because he is a pioneer and international leader in the processing of food using that technology.
– I am also requesting Dr. Aschkenasy to consider his support, seeking to disseminate this proposal in the media, in order that this issue reaches Your Excellency Mr. President, as well as organizations and agencies philosophically identified and engaged in the fight against hunger - he wrote to Obama.
The journalist recalls that the construction of plants for the processing he defends, in addition to protecting the food from the action of microorganisms, would also enable the considerable increase in the shelf life of these food stocks, as a means to prevent the unjustifiable waste that results from fast expiry for consumption.
– It would also simplify distribution in emergency situations, reducing deaths due to hunger that destroys thousands of human lives.
Saraiva claims that the lack of vacuum processing plants produces constant waste of great food stocks due to the expiration of shelf life, besides the degradation resulting from the poor storage conditions of cereals in their natural state, which he considers is humanly unacceptable and debases human dignity.
"COST LESS THAN WAST FROM HARVESTS"
The journalist also asked President Obama to adopt measures to encourage the public sector to build such plants.
– In philosophical terms, the Project looks perfectly viable if we compare the total costs of the undertaking and relate them to the cost of human lives. On a strictly economic approach, such investments would be rewarding considering the elimination of waste of entire harvests, tons of food that could be provided to thousands of hungry people across the planet.
– I also suggest that the United States head this war against hunger, encouraging both rich and emerging countries to preserve and stock food in the way we propose, to meet the strategic need that is Food Assurance. Having the technology to turn an idea into reality, we only need the political will and competency of visionary leaders committed to ethics, social justice and world peace - he concluded.
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Samuel Saraiva – Editor of USLatin Magazine - is a private individual who feels passionately about fighting world hunger. He also feels very strongly about being responsible about the waste and carbon footprint we leave on the Earth. Samuel Sales Saraiva is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists - NAHJ. He also studied International Relations and has a strong interest in Social issues.