Food is a basic necessity required for the survival of human beings. Mother Earth was a charming planet sometime back with aplenty water, agricultural land and greenery. With persistent manhandling of resources, the days are not far away when every human in this Earth will die due to hunger, thirst and pollution. People had enough to eat and drink sometime back and after a steep dip in hunger rates world hunger is on the rise again. Now, more than 820 million people suffer from chronic undernourishment, according to the latest FAO report.
World Food Day
Every year, the 16th of October is celebrated as World Food Day honoring the commencement of the Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO) launched by the United Nations in 1945. In accordance with this year’s theme, ‘Our actions are our future’, the global goal of achieving zero hunger by 2030 is not a distant dream if we join hands and adopt a sustainable lifestyle globally. 70% of the world’s poor live in rural areas, millions of people sleep hungry every day due to poverty, but the world also houses over 600 million obese people and 1.3 billion overweight individuals. We are extremely imbalanced and the perfect way to solve this hunger crisis is to rightly balance needs and requirements.
On this day, more than 130 countries participate actively by organizing different events, marathons, cultural performances, concerts and exhibitions across the world to popularize the pathetic situation existing and come up with practical plans to overcome crisis. Some ways in which each of us can contribute towards ZeroHunger include producing more food with less resources, avoiding wastage of food, practicing a healthier and sustainable diet and promoting #ZeroHunger.
Everyone Can Help
The FAO strongly advocates their thoughts that each of us living in this world, be it a farmer, businessman, doctors, teachers or any individual with a strong desire to bring about a change can contribute towards #ZeroHunger in their small way possible. Let’s start it right from our house.
Cooking judiciously: Making new dishes needs talent but playing with the available ingredients and preparing food that exactly serves your needs without any wastage requires creativity and smart work. Avoiding wastage helps to eradicate hunger when we stand together as one world.
Eat sustainably: Eating healthy does not mean that you create a havoc in your kitchen by planning lavish meals and using exotic produce. Its easy to prepare nutritious meals by following simple ways and using healthy ingredients. One can always refer the net for following a sustainable living and preparing food in a sustainable way.
Shop for your ‘needs’: Supermarket culture has made people grab and buy whatever they come across. Loading your grocery card, overstocking your fridge and under utilization of produce will never be beneficial. Rather it increases your electricity bills and food wastage due to perishable produce left unused for a long time. While our intention of shopping is to minimize our frequent visits to the shop, we must ensure to shop smart and buy only those that are needed.
Leftover food: Its not mandatory that what we cook gets exhausted to the last morsel available every single day. When there are leftovers, use it wisely the next day in re-creating them into delicious new dishes that would surprise other family members.
What we eat not only affects our well-being but impacts the well-being of the environment too. Food holds top-most place in the list of environmental issues contributing to 60% of global biodiversity loss. Nature has blessed us with vegetables and fruits along with our poultry and animals. Influence of Western diets has diverted our attention towards ultra-processed foods, meat and dairy that require ample agricultural land for animal feed production which in turn increases carbon dioxide gas emission. Understand the foods that have the largest carbon footprint emission by visiting the website www.firsteatright.com. You would be shocked to realize that some of your favorite and everyday foods contribute greatly towards carbon emission.
What we produce, harvest and eat from our plates is the biggest cause for environmental degradation. Establishing a healthy connection between people and food is essential for healthy people and a healthy planet. Encouraging people to purchase directly from a farmer’s market nearby their place of stay reduces transportation needs, buying what you want rather than what you desire prevents wastage and cooking according to what you might consume helps to avoid throwing food into the bin. This World Food Day is an excellent opportunity to start practicing sustainable living and help towards making our world’s dream of #ZeroHunger a reality by 2030.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.