Yesterday was World Food Day which is celebrated annually. World Food Day celebrates the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on October 16, 1945 in Quebec, Canada. Each year a different theme is chosen in order to highlight areas needed for action and provide a common focus. This year’s theme is “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must, too.”
Carrie Dennett, RDN reported in her weekly article in the Seattle Times, “Thinking globally is important when supporting actions today that will help ensure a sustainable and secure food supply tomorrow. A global mindset is also not a bad way to go when thinking about what to have for dinner.” She also relayed that Mediterranean diets and all traditional or “heritage” diets have commonalities. “They evolved before the current era of highly processed foods, so they don’t rely on sugar, salt and refined grains. They highlight vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds because these were the diets of everyday people who lived close to—or off — the land.” Carrie suggests exploring traditional non-Americanized world cuisines by cooking these foods yourself at home and also recommends a number of cookbooks.
Here are a some facts from various food hunger sites:
- The world produces enough food to feed all 7 billion people.
- Poverty is the principal cause of hunger.
- 98% of worldwide hunger exists in underdeveloped countries.
- Almost 1 in every 15 children in developing countries dies before the age of 5, most of them from hunger-related causes.
- While hunger exists worldwide, 526 million hungry people live in Asia.
- Over a quarter of the world’s undernourished people live in Sub-Saharan Africa. Almost 1 in 4 people in this region is chronically hungry.
I happened to be looking at a beautiful cookbook yesterday that I purchased while traveling in South Africa to find some new recipes to try. The statistic regarding hunger in Africa hit home since just returning from Africa. Some of the ways I try to fight hunger in my own community is by donating to local food banks and meals on wheels programs.