Serving Up Stone Soup

Friday, September 29, 2017

As a child I remember reading the story Stone Soup. Recently I had a chance to revisit it.  In case you have never read it, hear is the short version:

Some travelers come to a village, carrying nothing more than an empty cooking pot. Upon their arrival, the villagers are unwilling to share any of their food stores with the hungry travelers. Then the travelers go to a stream and fill the pot with water, drop a large stone in it, and place it over a fire. One of the villagers becomes curious and asks what they are doing. The travelers answer that they are making "stone soup", which tastes wonderful, although it still needs a little bit of garnish to improve the flavor, which they are missing. The villager does not mind parting with a few carrots to help them out, so that gets added to the soup. Another villager walks by, inquiring about the pot, and the travelers again mention their stone soup which has not reached its full potential yet. The villager hands them a little bit of seasoning to help them out. More and more villagers walk by, each adding another ingredient. Finally, the stone (being inedible) is removed from the pot, and a delicious and nourishing pot of soup is enjoyed by all. Although the travelers have thus tricked the villagers into sharing their food with them, they have successfully transformed it into a tasty and nutritious meal which they share with the donors.

It made me wonder, how a group of people were able to change their world and the world for others.  Through a little bit of trickery, and a lot of collaboration- they were able to share what they already had to make a difference.  Did you know that the world already produces more than 1 ½ times enough food to feed everyone on the planet? (Huffington Post) That's enough to feed 10 billion people.  So why do we still have hunger?  You see the problem is  that there is not enough food, the problem is that hunger is caused by poverty and inequality, not scarcity.

It's not a simple solution- obviously.  Kelly and are passionate about helping to end poverty and helping to create sustainable food.  "In Guatemala, the face of poverty and hunger is young, indigenous and rural. Guatemala, with the fourth highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world and the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean, faces a serious challenge to reduce chronic undernutrition, currently at 49.8% among children under five." (WFP)

So, what does this story have to do with all of us?  I look at how these travelers started with nothing, and through the help of others were able to make enough food to feed themselves and their community.    Kelly and myself's prayer is that we too can have a community to bring in their ingredients, and while a single item will not create a soup- with the help of everyone we can create a change to feed the world.

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