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New Mexico State University

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NMSU World Food Day event to feature 'Seeds of Hunger' film, discussion

According to statistics released Oct. 9 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, nearly 870 million people worldwide - 1 in 8 - suffer from chronic undernourishment in a world where there is currently enough food produced to meet the basic nutritional needs of everyone.

World Food Day is Tuesday, Oct. 16, and the New Mexico State University Office of International and Border Programs is sponsoring a showing of the documentary film "Seeds of Hunger" to help inform the campus and the community about global food issues.

The event, which is free and open to the public, takes place at 3 p.m. in the Corbett Center Auditorium, Room 247.

"An important part of NMSU's internationalization strategy is to create opportunities for students to develop an awareness of the immense challenges facing our planet today," said Cornell Menking, associate provost for international and border programs.

"The startling number of people suffering from hunger is a difficult thing to comprehend by those of us living in more fortunate circumstances. The film, and the discussion that follows, will help students understand the complex causes and challenges that the human race faces in this arena. Our hope is that such events may help influence a student to begin a career dedicated to addressing the tragic issue of world hunger."

"Seeds of Hunger" addresses world food issues from various perspectives in the context of the current economic crisis, population trends, climate change and the increased use of grains for biofuels. According to the distributor's website, it not only addresses the current distressing situation, it "outlines the shape of an impending global food crisis."

The film, which won Best Documentary at the 2009 Bourges International Festival of Environmental Films, was directed by Yves Billy and Richard Prost. It was filmed in Africa, China, Latin America and the U.S.

Following the film, a panel of three faculty members and a city council member will lead a discussion of issues raised by the film and their relationship to the local situation.

"Our panel will emphasize how the global hunger issues manifest themselves in our communities and local efforts in addressing food insecurity issues in Southern New Mexico," said Connie Falk, a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business, whose expertise includes organic and sustainable agriculture, small-scale farming, economic development and Community-Supported Agriculture.

Participating in the panel along with Falk are:

Olga Pedroza, Las Cruces City Council member, retired attorney and prime mover of the Las Cruces School Garden Partnership; Paul Gutierrez, NMSU Cooperative Extension Service specialist in range livestock production and marketing economics with an emphasis on sustainable ranching systems; and Eduardo Medina, Extension small farm and ranch outreach coordinator.

Campus and community organizations have been invited to network after the discussion and to have information tables outside the auditorium.

Everyone attending the film is asked to bring a non-perishable food item as a food bank donation.

For more information about NMSU's event, contact Brenda Brown at brendas@nmsu.edu or 575-646-7965.