World Food Day: Leaving No One Behind

Despite having enough food to supply everyone in the world, eradicating hunger goes beyond that: food safety must be guaranteed.
World Food Day: Leaving No One Behind
Mariel Mendoza

Written and verified by the doctor Mariel Mendoza.

Last update: 10 November, 2022

World Food Day is celebrated every year on October 16. The date chosen coincides with the anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, founded in 1945.

Each year, World Food Day adopts a different theme and varies slightly in focus. However, the main objective of celebrating this day is to promote healthy eating, food safety, and to take steps to eradicate hunger by 2030.

The concept of food safety means that everyone in the world has physical and financial access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and preferences for an active and healthy life.

World Food Day 2022

World Food Day.
Access to healthy and balanced food is the right of every human being.

For this year, the theme selected is “Safe Food, Better Health“. The main focus is to promote the adoption of balanced and healthy diets in all households. This requires access to safe (non-harmful) food for people, the environment, and animals.

World Food Day should be observed by all those who participate in and benefit from the food chain process, from farmers and livestock keepers to distributors, supermarket workers, middlemen, and cooks.
Everyone in the world, both at work and at home, has an important role to play in promoting healthy eating.

Food should be for everyone

Healthy eating is the right of every human being and is also the basis for proper physical and mental development in children. A balanced and age-appropriate diet is essential for the whole process of human development. This is due to the fact that hunger has many harmful effects on the body.

It’s our duty to ensure a child’s proper nutrition, and food education should begin at home from an early age. In addition to children, older adults are also prone to disorders associated with malnutrition.

How can you support the World Food Day initiative?

There are many ways to support World Food Day, such as:

  • Encouraging participation in programs to eradicate hunger in the most vulnerable populations.
  • Learning to eat consciously (taking care of food and preventing waste).
  • Promoting a healthy, balanced and varied diet at home, with the presence of proteins and vegetables.
  • Avoiding ultra-processed foods
  • Buying local and fresh products that are sold at farmers’ markets
  • Volunteering at non-profit or community canteens
  • Teaching children the proper handling and storage of different foods at home
  • Instilling food education in schools
  • Contribute, as much as possible, with donations to areas vulnerable to famine
  • To thank everyone who participates in the process, from the production of food until it reaches our tables

Millions of people suffer from hunger

World Food Day.
Reducing waste is the first step in fighting world hunger.

According to the United Nations, 820 million people suffer from hunger and about 155 million children are undernourished. Most of the hungry people live in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Statistically, 3.1 million children die each year from malnutrition, and every 5 seconds one child dies from a hunger-related disorder.

Believe it or not, there’s enough food in the world to feed everyone

There’s currently enough food produced in the world to feed everyone. However, about 20% of the production is wasted every year. Therefore, as well as remembering the importance of food and its preservation, World Food Day also aims to eradicate hunger. Reducing food waste is the first big step.

Hunger mainly affects children

When there’s sustained food deprivation, there’s a slowing or stopping of growth in children, as well as physical weakness. On the other hand, there’s also cognitive and mental impairment, making it more difficult for them to concentrate and assimilate knowledge at school, and there’s a loss of motivation. Likewise, mothers who are in a situation of hunger will have babies who are thinner and more prone to different diseases.

The pandemic set back progress

The COVID-19 pandemic affected famine worldwide because it arrived so suddenly and chaotically. It caused a decrease in food availability and production, as well as an increased lack of employment and a decrease in income.

Thus, not only did people find it more difficult to have food available, but also prices increased when it returned to the shelves, making it more difficult to purchase due to the decrease in income.

Celebrating this day helps everyone in the world

Celebrating World Food Day not only helps to draw attention to the problem, seeking to improve food safety, availability, and distribution, but it’s also a constant reminder that hunger can be eradicated.

In addition to advocacy on proper nutrition, the world also benefits from promoting social protection programs that foster food safety and introducing environmentally conscious agricultural practices.

On the other hand, hunger isn’t the only problem associated with the food system. There are others, such as obesity, environmental degradation (affecting agriculture and livestock), and climate change, which are sometimes ignored.

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The contents of this publication are for informational purposes only. At no time can they serve to facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult with your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.