Today we celebrate World Food Day, which was established in 1979 to commemorate the date of the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945. Since then, many organizations, among them last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, World Food Programme, honor this date with joined efforts to fight hunger and poverty. The goal is to ensure global food security and combat hunger, especially in conflict areas. In recent years, the focus of World Food Day turned to climate change and how that affects agriculture and global distribution chains.
Zero Hunger is one of the Sustainable Development Goals
One of the Sustainable Development Goals to create a better world by 2030 is Zero Hunger. With unequal access to food resources, hunger is still one of the leading causes of death in the world. With this initiative, the authorities aim to end hunger, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. Hunger is not the only challenge though, 420.000 people die every year due to eating contaminated food globally, of which 125.000 are children under 5 years of age. Unsafe food contains harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances which are a huge threat to public health systems. With fair distribution systems, we could guarantee access to safe and nutritious food that would promote good health and have a direct correlation to national economies, trade and tourism.
Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life
This year’s theme of World Food Day is “Our actions are our future – Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life”. Food security, as defined by the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, means that all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life. Guaranteeing this would have a positive impact on healthcare costs, as a recent Canadian study showed that those are significantly higher in households without adequate access to nutritious food.
As mentioned before, climate change is becoming one of the major problems related to food insecurity since increasingly frequent extreme weather events affect agriculture and cause high dependency on imports and exports of agricultural products. In this regard, we must further develop local production with attention to sustainable practices that have little or no impact on the environment. This would ensure food safety even for future generations.
How can each one of us celebrate World Food Day?
Knowledge is power, therefore the first thing you can do is to educate yourself. There are many lectures and round tables being organized on the topic as part of World Food Day, some of them completely free and available online. Inform yourself of the causes of food poverty and search for any local organizations that deal with food security.
One of the best ways to eradicate hunger is to prevent food waste. In the United States, a shocking amount of 108 billion pounds of food is wasted each year, which equals almost 40% of all food. A lot of it comes from uneaten food from homes, stores and restaurants. What we can do is to plan our meals on a weekly basis and buy food accordingly. Good planning is key! When eating out, we can take any leftovers and have them for lunch the next day. We must change our throw-away mentality and think of food as a precious resource not everyone has access to.
Once we eliminate unnecessary food waste, we can focus on the leftovers in the form of kitchen scraps, such as peels and shells. A nice solution to treat this waste is to start composting. In this article, we explain everything about it and how to handle bio-waste responsibly.
Finally, try to spread awareness about the global issues brought up on this year’s World Food Day. Talk to your family members and friends, find out what you could do better and try changing some daily routines to prevent food waste. Connect with local community gardens and food-related organizations and discover how you can contribute to fight hunger and enable equal access to a healthy and nutritious diet for everyone.
Hey! We have an amazing educational e-book about Bokashi composting for you. Download it and find out everything you need to know about this sustainable solution, that will support your responsible way of handling bio-waste.