‘Shellfish or selfless’, today is the perfect opportunity to reflect on our eating habits since October 16th is the annual World Food Day (WFD)! WFD is celebrated every year to raise more public awareness about the global hunger that is still affecting many people as population growth has outpaced the development of food production and distribution. People from around the globe come together to declare their commitment to reducing starvation by organising and participating in events and activities.
WFD is established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and since 1981 WFD has been honoured with different themes each year to emphasise the issues that need to be addressed. This year, FAO created the theme ‘#ZeroHungerWorld’, aiming to build up a Zero Hunger Generation and creating awareness about how important it is to eat healthy and well-balanced. I believe this concept is really important as it speaks to today’s generation and stimulates involvement in building a future where everyone can be well-nourished.
There are many ways to celebrate WFD and every little contribution helps. Together we will be able to improve the self-sustainability in more countries. To show the endless amount of choices, I will recommend some methods to honour WFD:
1. Donating food and/or money to charities is an effective way as you are lending a helping hand. It may seem useless, but it actually has an immense impact on world hunger. Organization ‘Food for All’ raised 60 million dollars last year by having customers donate a few dollars.
2. It’s also a great moment to reflect on our eating and recycling habits since unnecessary food waste is the main reason that people in poverty are undernourished. To waste less food, the Dutch website ‘wereldvoedselsdag.com’ has an article that encourages people to be more thoughtful about food by planning meals beforehand, making grocery lists and paying attention to the expiry dates. Be aware of what you eat and what you buy to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle!
3. There are also applications that stimulate the no-waste lifestyle. One of them is called ‘Too good to go’, giving companies and restaurants a platform where they can sell leftovers or soon to be expired food for a cheap price, aiming to waste as little as possible.
4. If media is more your element, you can share the #WorldFoodDay video from FAO on social media to inspire others to have healthy diets and spread awareness about this organisation. Not only does it plan events across 150 countries, but it also provides recipes and different dietary guidelines that can help you make healthy eating a way of life.
5. There are many festivals and events planned in the Netherlands in name of the WFD such as ‘Youth World Food Day’ in Ede and ‘World Food Day-Festival’ in Den Bosch. Rotterdam celebrates it even bigger and holds a three-day long festival named ‘World Food Festival’ (WFF). It’s publicly accessible and focuses on food production and its origin. Although it may be too late to get tickets now, most of them are organised annually so definitely check it out next time!
In conclusion, there are plenty of choices to celebrate WFD in your preferred style. Whether you donate or attend a festival to learn more about food, this day was created to heighten people’s awareness of an aspect that may seem usual to us but is actually rare in some countries. Being able to eat whenever we want, whatever we want is a privilege and a fundamental human right that should belong to everyone around the globe.
‘Our actions are our future so let’s strive for a Zero Hunger Generation!’
Author: Gwendolyne Cheung
Editor: Kat Nivera