World Food Day is celebrated annually every October 16 to commemorate the founding of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
Launched in 1945, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization has the ultimate goal of ending world hunger; making sure that everyone all around the world has enough food to eat on their table.
It calls the attention of international governments to implement and practice successful argiculture policies to safeguard food for everyone and the future generations. It is also part of their mission to strengthen the world’s food security, especially in the event of crisis.
Part of their activities is to inform people to be conscious of the planet as climate change continues to negatively affect food security and agriculture.
Ensuring both the health of the people and the state of the environment, they call on people to eat healthy, while advocating for a #ZeroHunger world.
According to the organization, dietary guidelines in a given country provide advice on how to make everyone gets enough nutrients to be healthy and prevent chronic disease. These dietary guidelines are also used to develop nutrition policies and education programmes.
They also call on everyone to be vigilant on the food they intake by making healthy and sustainable diet as the influx of fast-food chain restaurants and sedentary lifestyles have made people unhealthy.
Apart from this, people are encouraged to eat plenty of fresh, ripe and seasonal vegetables and fruits daily. Adding more legumes, nuts and whole grains to your diet is also a must because these are great sources of plant-based protein. What’s more, FAO says, these can be cheaper than animal proteins. They’re also kinder on our planet.
According to FAO, over 670 million adults and 120 million girls and boys ages 5-19 are obese; 40 million children ages 0-5 are overweight; and over 820 million people are suffering from hunger.
Nearly one in three people are obese and malnourished. Their projections indicate that there will be one in two people affected by 2025.
Having an unhealthy diet can also cause increased risk factors in possesing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer.
Organized in over 150 countries, events regarding World Food Day are to promote worldwide awareness and action to ending hunger, ensuring food security and healthy agricultural practices such as those concerning fishing communities, climate change and biodiversity, and advising nutritional diets with a goal to build a Zero Hunger Generation. Each year also has a different theme.
And the organizations emphasise, everyone can play a part.
Countries, decision makers and private businesses can take action to promote healthy diets and achieve #ZeroHunger, according to FAO.
Farmers and agribusinesses, as well as the women and men who work in agriculture play a vital role in providing nutritious, affordable food.
The knowledge and traditional practices that these people have are vital in a world where food production "faces challenges such as climate change and limited natural resources,” the organisation adds.
"Governments and Institutions can also contribute. Given the significant amount of money spent on health problems related to malnutrition, strategies and policies to ensure the availability and affordability of healthy diets make good business sense for countries and their governments,” FAO says.