On 16th October 2018, over 150 countries around the world celebrate World Food Day. The day marks the founding of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945 and focuses on raising awareness of and action for people suffering from hunger. The event also promotes the need for food security and nutritious diets for all.
The theme this year is: Our actions are our future. A zero hunger world by 2030 is possible.
According to the FAO, there are three clear ways to achieve zero hunger:
• Don’t waste food
• Produce more, with less (i.e. greater efficiency in food production)
• Adopt a more healthy and sustainable diet
Despite the fact that enough food is produced around the world to feed everyone, an FAO report found that 815m people were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2016 - and that figure is on the rise. And while so many go hungry, 1.9 billion people – more than a quarter of the world’s population - are overweight, with 600 million of them obese. The FAO is campaigning to redress this balance.
But what are the causes of chronic hunger and malnutrition?
There are many, but among them conflict, the climate, the economy and inequality are the main offenders. And the interesting thing is that much could be done to fight all of them if governments and international bodies worked together on this.
There have been efforts recently to facilitate this. In 2015, at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York, 193 countries adopted Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These included good health and quality education for all, as well as the Zero Hunger goal, which focuses on ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture.
And the First World Parliamentary Summit Against Hunger and Malnutrition will take place in Madrid in October 2018.
So, governments and international bodies are at least attempting to address the issues. And we can help by better educating ourselves about food and nutrition, ensuring that we don’t waste food and get sufficient nutrition without becoming overweight or even obese.
Food Ranking Exercise
To that end, we’ve created a food ranking exercise that you may like to try with your students, to help them make better food choices.