World Food Day
World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945.
The day is celebrated widely by many other organizations concerned with food security, including the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development .
Each year, a specific theme is adopted and for 2015, the focus is social protection and agriculture, which aims to underline the role social protection plays in reducing chronic food insecurity and poverty by ensuring direct access to food or the means to buy food.
In this context, the role played by farmers is crucial as they are key in the process of fighting hunger and finding concrete remedies that address issues affecting food security and nutrition .
The gross disparity between populations who live in excess (and look the part) and the extreme opposite, those who are struggling to survive famine may be easy enough to put out of your mind when you’re living in luxury.
I don’t mean luxury in the sense of having a nice car or beautiful home. Go back even further.
How about the luxury of being able to choose to go to your local health food store or farmer’s market and then select the vegetables, fruits and proteins you feel like eating on any given day?
And at an even more primal level, what about the choice to eat real, healthy, fresh foods instead of junk?
Forget about what type of eating plan you may or may not follow; consider just the simple fact that you have one single body over which you have so much control.
You choose whether it will serve you for a long, healthy life or try to survive an arsenal of daily self-attacks resulting from a sedentary existence coupled with regular infusions of absolute rubbish.
It’s upsetting, to say the least.
And while what you put on your plate isn’t directly affecting or addressing world hunger, it’s the overall mindset of our society to not think about the big picture.
By choosing the quick fix, easy route to dinner or lunch on the go because we don’t have time, we’re completely taking for granted something that someone else would give anything to have.
When we as individuals start to think on broader terms, we can collectively begin to decrease the demand for junk and slowly but surely bring awareness and revenue to the smaller local farmers and ranchers who are trying to do the right thing.
When the demand for organic, local, in season produce goes up, more local farmers can make a living instead of trying to scrape by with the masses heading straight for the Monsantos and McDonalds of the world because they’re more cost effective to a tight budget.
Perhaps then we can begin to look into programs that would help to get fresh vegetables into our schools and source meat, fish and poultry from humane supplies at a more reasonable cost, allowing access to this caliber of food to everyone, regardless of what they happen to earn.
How are these suggestions going to help with world hunger?
My hope is that by bringing awareness and consciousness to each of our own areas of the world in which we live, we can start locally and cooperatively, simultaneously begin to make change.
Yes, there are political barriers, social barriers, environmental barriers and red tape and bureaucracies to deal with, of course.
But we’ve got to stop thinking about countries far away from us plagued with starvation as people and places so removed from us that we could simply disconnect and tune out.
It’s not someone else’s problem; it’s all of our issue to find solutions before and if each of us does something that may seem small because it’s local, for example, together, it’s something big and it’s something that can grow and breed lasting change.
Curious to find out how you can do your part? Check out World Food Day’s site for an online directory of ways to get involved.