In 2009, our Executive Director, Holly Sue Hatfield decided to test the interest of the American Public regarding unnecessary deaths in third world countries Following is the Press Release:
UTAH WOMAN TO SUBSIST ON AFRICAN CORNMEAL PRODUCT THROUGH REST OF 2009 TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT STARVATION IN AFRICA
Lindon, Utah—A 26-year-old Utah woman has been eating nothing but ugali, Kenya’s staple food, since Oct. 1 to raise awareness about the current famine in that African country.
“Ugali is essentially a flavorless cornmeal product that varies from a porridge-like consistency to something closer to uncooked bread dough. It’s in the same genus as polenta in Italy, mealie pap in South Africa, Mayi moulin in Haiti or grits in the deep South of the United States. No matter where you eat it though, the mush has very little nutritional value—and it gets boring fast,” says Holly Sue Hatfield. Hatfield adds that she’s planning on being on the ugali diet until Dec. 31, 2009.
As director of development and compliance for In Our Own Quiet Way (a Utah-based nonprofit organization that has been working to send food to starving Kenyans in the short term, and helping to develop long-term self-sustaining programs), Hatfield says she’s seen firsthand the struggles faced by many East Africans as a result of a decade-long drought in the area. “No rainfall means no crops, and no crops means no food. The livestock dies alongside the plants, and the people soon follow. The two daily servings of ugali I’m surviving on are actually more than some people in the hardest hit regions consume,” Hatfield said.
On the first day she started the diet, the 5-foot-10-inch-tall Hatfield weighed 182 pounds. After the first week of consuming nothing but ugali, water and black coffee, she dropped 8 pounds.
“I love food, so make no mistake—this is a serious sacrifice for me. Daily headaches, irritability, crying jags and dizziness have been the only side effects so far,” she said.
Hatfield documented her experience through weekly video updates, Twitter, Facebook and www.hollysugali.com. (Note: These are no longer live)
Hatfield has emphasized that In Our Own Quiet Way is not endorsing her self-imposed diet. “This is the work of an over-zealous employee,” she adds.
She is asking the public to support In Our Own Quiet Way by donating to the organization’s Given A Dam project, a long-term initiative to build water retention ponds in the driest regions of Kenya. Interested parties can donate through the nonprofit’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/quietway.
Net result: She starved herself and no one except her parents really cared. Most everyone else was worried that their 401(k) was down 20%. Only now as we suffer from an EXTENDED recession (some call it a “depression”) have economists declared…. “This will continue to happen until we can understand the dynamics of a GLOBAL ECONOMY. The Old rules don’t apply anymore. In the present state of affairs, the beating of a butterfly’s wings affects the climate on the other side of the world”. We’re hoping that several ‘current affair savvy’ Utah High Schools will be the butterfly wings in 2011-2012.