World Food Day is October 16
Established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 1979, World Food Day, October 16, was first observed in 1981. Organizations around the world mobilize advocacy campaigns and events on October 16 to strengthen the political will to end hunger. World Food Day offers the opportunity to strengthen national and international solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty and draw attention to achievements in food security and agricultural development.
The theme for World Food Day 2013 is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”. Let’s think about what each part of that means in our lives.
Food security: There are an estimated 842 million hungry people on the planet. This means that one in eight people in the world suffer from chronic hunger, not having enough food for an active and healthy life. Plus the number of people on the planet is increasing rapidly. Production of basic staple foods will need to increase by 60 percent to meet the expected growth in demand.
Nutrition: Producing more food is important. But it is not enough. Two billion people worldwide lack micronutrients vital for good health. Each one of us requires more than basic staple foods for a balanced and nutritious diet. Our food systems must become more nutrition-driven, with a stronger focus on fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-dense foods.
Food Systems: A food system is made up of all the processes that ensure our food arrives from “farm to fork”: how we grow, process, package, transport, store, market, purchase and eat our food. Since every aspect of a food system has an effect on the final availability and accessibility of diverse, nutritious foods, we must constantly strive towards healthier improvements up and down food value chains.
Sustainability: By definition, sustainable food systems produce nutritious diets for all people today and protect the capacity of future generations to feed themselves. Yet, today almost 60 percent of the world’s ecosystems are degraded or used unsustainably, in large part because of the environmentally harmful effects of our current food systems. We can do better. By using resources more efficiently at every stage along the food chain, we can increase the amount of healthy food available worldwide. Getting the most food from every drop of water, plot of land, and speck of fertilizer saves resources for the future. We can all play a part in improving our food systems, even in our homes, by making good decisions about what food we buy and eat, and by reducing food waste.
Get connected to the movement to end hunger by attending a local World Food Day event or host one of your own. Find out more about World Food Day events at http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/events. For additional information about World Food Day, visit http://www.fao.org/getinvolved/worldfoodday/ and http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/.