Friday October 31, 2014

World Food Day worth marking

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If there is one thing the world has far too many of, it’s days being proclaimed to mark everything from Veteran’s Day to International Broccoli Day.

Some, such as Veteran’s Day are obviously worthwhile endeavours. However in a world where we have a day to a vegetable many of us push to the edge of the plate rather than eat it, really lessens the impact of the days we should pause to think about.

And so World Food Day came and went Oct. 16 with little fanfare, and I surmise with most people unaware the Wednesday had any special significance associated with it.

“Established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 1979, World Food Day, Oct. 16, was first observed in 1981. Organizations around the world mobilize advocacy campaigns and events on Oct. 16 to strengthen the political will to end hunger. World Food Day offers the opportunity to strengthen national and international solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty and draw attention to achievements in food security and agricultural development,” details

When you think about things which we as a collective society should occasionally pause to  think about, then how we ensure no one goes to bed hungry should be very high up the list.

It cannot be overlooked that World Food Day is sandwiched on the calender between Canada and the United States’ Thanksgiving days.  The roots of Thanksgiving comes from taking a day each fall to give thanks for the crops grown and harvested. It is marked by most of us with tables full of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie. It is about as far away from going hungry as you can get.

Yet many do just that in our world, go hungry.

World Food Day is supposed to be the day we give a bit of extra thought about how our world can better share its food so that everyone has a reason for, and the means to, a Thanksgiving feast.

Of course that is really the issue, how to get food to the hungry. While we may live in an era where we question whether farmers will be able to produce enough food to feed the growing masses, so far production is not the problem.

The money to purchase food, and the infrastructure and security to transport, store and distribute the food to all is. The problems are ones which lend relevancy to this years World Food Day them: “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition.”

“To live in a world free of hunger, we must create food systems that ensure a plentiful supply of nutritious food with minimal impact on our environment. Our food systems must consider sustainability in every step of the supply chain: from production to processing, transportation to retail, and consumption to post-consumption waste. Without a focus on sustainability, our food system may not produce the healthy, nutritious food that we all deserve …,” notes the website.

The vision is a worthy one, and one farmers should already believe in as the growers of food.  And so amid the many days tagged for this and that World Food Day is one we should actually pay attention too, and hope its vision soon becomes a reality so hunger becomes a thing of the past.

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