A Project to Help People in Poverty
According to the Time Magazine (2010), the "world food crisis" of 2007-08 was the tip of an iceberg. The food crises and hunger are endemic to the modern world, and the eruption of a rapid increase in food prices provided a fresh window on this cultural fact. According to George (1977), famines signify the final stage in a comprehensive procedure of deepening vulnerability and fracturing of social reproduction mechanisms. She believed that this food "crisis" represents the intensification of a long-term crisis of social reproduction stemming from colonialism, and was enhanced by neoliberal capitalist growth.
In popular history, food is an essential feature. Gofton (1989) has established that lifestyles have seen many changes over the post-war years, and these are reflected in numerous ways in food and its consumption habits. The invasion of various nationalities affected the history of food. It could be said that colonization contributed a lot on the food development of a specific region. For instance, most of Oriental traditions of food like that of the Philippines and Indonesia is an amalgamation of Oriental features such as Spanish and American. Food is a marker of identity of many different levels (Keane & Willetts, 1994, p. 15). To directly quote:
Countries are commonly characterized by one or two dishes which are regarded as emblems of the nation in the same way as the national flag. What is highly regarded in one country may be seen as inedible and vilified in another. Within countries there are regional specialities which may also distinguish one group of people from another. Haggis and “Neeps” (turnips) are seen as intrinsically Scottish while jellied eels could only characterize cockney Londoners (Keane & Willetts, 1994, p. 15).
From here, the identity of food in terms of historical background of a country is clearly manifested. Whatever type of food that serves as national symbol, this provides an individual and cultural identity of the people who consume or eat such. Food comes to represent a certain area and through their consumption, people establish an identity in which categorized as pride in its history.
But the questions still remain “Are there enough food for the poor people of Indonesia?” and “Is there enough "healthy food" to feed the Indonesian people?” Food as a basic need, as every person needs to eat, what people eat becomes a most powerful symbol of what they are (Fox, 2003). Economy serves as an important feature of food culture among communities. Practically, the richer the economy, the more diverse the assortment of food in relation to types, costs, etc. and vice versa. Situating food and eating identity in the economic and cultural environments of which they are a part is important (Keane & Willetts, 1994, p. 15). Developed countries are able to sustain the food supply and consumption their population. Thus, there is no shortage or at any rate, they are able to give what is due to their people. For poor countries like Indonesia where famine is experienced, the food culture is greatly different. Poor people in the co8untry eat almost anything that they could have or perceived to be edible just to serve the needs of nutrition. People from these regions fail to do such, death due to malnutrition, illness, or state of famine is expected. It could be said that food in modern economies are better than in poorer to poorest societies. Economic constraints are also a vital consideration.
Objective of the Study
The primary objective of this study is to examine and determine the current stance of poverty and hunger proliferating in Indonesia. To address this objective, the researcher explores the nature and kind of food needed by the poor people in Indonesia and the government efforts towards hyper-inflation and price control.
Apparently, a survey to be conducted to some of government officials aimed to determine their perception towards the issue of price control and hyper-inflation. Furthermore, an interview will be also conducted to know what are their problems and concerns regarding food shortage. Finally, this research comes up with pertinent findings, and provides insightful recommendations on price policies and food shortage counter measures imposed by the government of Indonesia.
Generally, the purpose of this study is to conduct a study on the issue of food shortage and poverty in Indonesia. This study tries to answer the following queries:
1. What are the government official’s perceptions regarding the food shortage issue and price control?
2. What are the specific foods that needed by the poor people in Indonesia at most?
3. What are criterions in determining the food needed by the poor people of Indonesia?
4. What should the government do to control the price not to increase or suppress hyper-inflation?
Scope and Limitations
The study intends to investigate the on the issue of food shortage and poverty in Indonesia. For this study, primary research and secondary research will be used. Primary research will be conducted using anonymous questionnaires that will be sent to some government officials in Indonesia. The questionnaires will be used to collect quantitative data and the interviews will be used to provide qualitative insights into the data collected.
The data will be analysed and compiled for the evaluation. The data will then be presented by means of graphical representations and illustration and the difference would be highlighted.
Fox, R. (2003), Food and eating: an anthropological perspective, Social Issues Research Center, Oxford. Retrieved March 12, 2010 from www.sirc.org/publik/foxfood.pdf
George, S. (1977), How The Other Half Dies: The Real Reasons for World Hunger (Montclair, NJ: Allenheld, Osmun and Co.
Gofton, L. (1989), "Sociology and Food Consumption", British Food Journal, Vol. 91, No. 1, Abstract only.
Keane, A. and Willetts, A. (1994), “Factors that Affect Food Choice”, Nutrition & Food Science, No. 4, July/August, pp. 15-17.
Time Magazine (2010), Special Section: THE WORLD FOOD CRISIS Retrieved March 12, 2010 from http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,911503-1,00.html