World Food Day History
World Food Day is recognized in order to raise awareness about hunger and encourage the public to support efforts to eradicate world hunger. Food plays an essential role in life; many people go without it and cannot guarantee when they will eat their next meals, while others waste large amounts of food every day.
World Food Day is organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. The FAO was founded on October 16, 1945 in an effort to help the world with its constant battle against hunger and malnutrition. World Food Day was officially established in 1979 and today, it is observed in over 150 countries. It is celebrated annually on the same day as the FAO's founding, October 16th. Since 1981, a different theme has been adopted each year based on current issues. The day is also heavily promoted by organizations that are concerned with food security and insecurity.
World Food Day Facts & Quotes
- 2016 is the International Year of Pulses. World Food Day has not announced its 2016 theme, but the 2015 theme was Social Protection and agriculture: breaking the cycle of rural poverty
- Approximately 1/3 of all food produced worldwide, about $1 trillion dollars worth, is wasted. The biggest culprits are industrialized countries; they waste almost as much food as the entire production weight of sub-Saharan Africa- 222 million vs 230 million tons.
- The Food and Agriculture of the United Nations acts as a forum for international efforts that aim to reduce food insecurity by acting as a forum for states to meet and negotiate trade agreements and policy.
The quest for food security can be the common thread that links the different challenges we face and helps build a sustainable future. – José Graziano da Silva, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General
In a world of plenty, no one, not a single person, should go hungry. But almost 1 billion still do not have enough to eat. I want to see an end to hunger everywhere within my lifetime. – Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations Secretary-General
World Food Day Top Events and Things to Do
- Do not waste food. World Food Day promotes Think. Eat. Save. as a way to reduce waste so, t=Think about what you’re buying, plan meals and shop smart. Eat mindfully. Are your eyes too big for your stomach? Save food, save money, save the environment.
- Lobby your government to changes its laws on waste. France passed a law banning supermarkets from throwing away destroying unsold food, instead making them donate it to charities and food banks.
- Watch a documentary about the food production process. Food Inc. (2008), Super Size Me (2004) or Fresh (2009) are all documentaries about food production and waste.
- Read a book about food activism, eco- and ethical-farming why not try one of these books that may help us find sustainable solutions to feed the 9.6 billion people that will to be fed by 2050. Our picks:
1) The Big Pivot: Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World by Andrew S Winston
2) Feeding Frenzy: Land Grabs, Price Spikes, and the World Food Crisis by Paul McMahon
3) The Political Economy of Arab Food Sovereignt by Jane Harrigan