Pope: hunger, "a scandal" caused by slavery of individualism and profit at all costs
Francis' message to FAO for the World Food Day. Global era sees growing tendency to individualism that leads to indifference to those who die from hunger. Food waste , "one of the fruits of the ' culture of waste' that often leads men and women to sacrifice themselves to the idols of profit and of consumption "

Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - The scandal of hunger in today's world should force us to concretely " break down the barriers of individualism, "fighting food waste , " one of the fruits of the ' culture of waste ' which often leads men and women to sacrifice themselves to the idols of profit and consumption " and promote a culture of solidarity to counter the "globalization of indifference".

This was the focus of Pope Francis' message for World Food Day to the Director -General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), José Graziano da Silva.

"It is a scandal - the Pope writes - that there is still hunger and malnutrition in the world! Not only must we respond to immediate emergencies, but face together, at all levels, a problem that challenges our personal and social awareness, to bring about a just and lasting solution. Nobody should be forced to leave their land and their cultural environment for the lack of the essential means of subsistence! Paradoxically, at a time when globalization makes it possible to know of the situations of need in world and increase exchanges and human relationships, the tendency to individualism and profit at all cost seems to be growing, which leads to an attitude of indifference - on a personal level as well as that of institutions and states - to those who die of hunger or suffer malnutrition , as if it were an inescapable fact. But hunger and malnutrition can never be considered a normal occurrence that we should be become used to, as if it were part of the system . "

"Something - continues the statement - must change in ourselves, in our minds, in our societies. What can we do? I think one important step is to decidedly break down the barriers of individualism, of closure, our slavery to profit at all costs and this not only in the dynamics of human relationships , but also in the global economic and financial dynamics . I think it is necessary now more than ever to educate ourselves to solidarity, to rediscover the value and meaning of this word which is so uncomfortable and very often left on the sidelines and see that it becomes the basic attitude of choices which govern the political, economic and financial relations between people and between nations. Only through concrete solidarity can selfish views and partisan interests be overcome and the goal of eliminating certain forms of poverty from lack of food finally be achieved. A solidarity that is not reduced to the various forms of assistance, but that works to ensure that an increasing number of people can be financially independent. Many strides forward have been made in different countries, but we are still far from a world in which everyone can live with dignity".

Referring then to the theme of the Day this year " Sustainable food systems for food security and nutrition", Francis sees " an invitation to rethink and renew our food systems , from a perspective of solidarity , overcoming the logic of the savage exploitation of creation and better targeting our commitment to cultivate and care for the environment and its resources to ensure food security and to move toward a healthy and adequate nutrition for all. This poses a serious question on the need to substantially improve our styles life, including food , which in so many areas of the planet , are marked by consumerism, waste and waste of food . "

On result of the "culture of waste ", is a "sad sign of the ' globalization of indifference ' , which leads us to slowly 'grow used' to the suffering of the other, as if it were normal," " the challenge of hunger and malnutrition is not only a scientific or economic issue, which concerns the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the food chain, but also and above all an ethical and anthropological one. Thus educating ourselves to solidarity, means educating humanity: building a society that is truly human means always placing the person and his dignity at the centre, and never selling it out to the logic of profit".

Recalling the upcoming International Year which , on the initiative of FAO, will be dedicated to rural family , Francis invites us to reflect on "education for solidarity and a way of life that goes beyond the ' culture of waste ' and actually puts every person and his dignity , part of the family at the center. " "Supporting and protecting the family, educating to solidarity and respect, is a decisive step to move toward a more just and humane society."

"May today's celebration - said the Pope - not be just a simple annual event , but a real opportunity to lead ourselves and institutions to operate in a culture of encounter and solidarity , to give an adequate response to the problem of hunger and malnutrition and other issues that affect the dignity of every human being. "