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TV's Hardeep Singh Kohli heads to Spitalfields Market to highlight cost of food in developing countries

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 October 2011

Hardeep Singh Kohli hosted the 'Seeds of Change' food stall at Spitalfields Market with The Red Cross.

Hardeep Singh Kohli hosted the 'Seeds of Change' food stall at Spitalfields Market with The Red Cross.

Archant

Spitalfields shoppers were in for a shock last Thursday when they were faced with £20 sandwiches on a stall highlighting the massively inflated price of food in developing countries.

The stand, which also had bananas and apples priced as £2.50 each and loaves of bread from £7, was put up by the Red Cross as part of their campaign on the devastating effects of food insecurity.

Broadcaster Hardeep Singh Kohli hosted the stall, named Seeds of Change, in Brushfield Street.

The charity came up with the idea after running a poll which showed how little British people know about the impossible decisions facing others in food insecure nations.

In some of the most extreme cases, people spent up to 80 per cent of their income on feeding their family and are still faced with rapidly fluctuating costs of basic items.

Penny Sims, spokeswoman for the charity, said: “We had a fantastic level of interest in the stall. People don’t quite realise how much food can cost in some parts of the world.

“I was working in Pakistan earlier this year and met families who had to make choices between travelling to get to work or even to find water and buying food. These difficult decisions face them every day.”

People were buying from the stall, Ms Sims added, once they realised what the campaign was about.

The poll, of 2,000 people, found that a third had never heard of food insecurity despite the fact it leads to more deaths than AIDs, tuberculosis and malaria combined.

Furthermore, nine out of ten came up with unrealistic answers when asked how they would cope with a dramatic rise in food prices.

“Cutting off broadband internet” and “not eating out” featured highly while only some acknowledged that they could be forced to sell their homes and possessions.

For more information on the issues raised go to redcross.org.uk/seedsofchange

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