Today is a World Food Day which was proclaimed in 1979 by the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It basically reminds us the founding date of the FAO in 1945 (and is not associated with any particular world food crisis etc.). The idea behind establishing this Day was to remind consumers of the world food problem and to strengthen solidarity in struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. The UN endorsed observance of the Day by resolution 35/70 of 5 December 1980 stating that:
World Food Day of 2011 has a following theme: "Food prices - from crisis to stability", and intends to highlight a major threat to food security in developing countries due to price swings. According to the World Bank in 2010-2011 rising food costs pushed nearly 70 million people into extreme poverty.
I would also like to point out that a month ago we celebrated the EU Food Safety Day during which lots of attention was given to food waste (see also earlier post on this blog about this: Love food. Hate waste.). In the framework of the EU 2020 Resource Efficiency Flagship programme the Commission is looking at how to minimise food waste and improve food packaging without compromising food safety (EU Food Safety Day: Commissioner Dalli on food waste). What scared me about this news was the statistics quoted.
Annual food waste in the EU is currently estimated at 89 million tonnes and is expected to rise to 126 million tonnes by 2020! Consumers waste on average 565 euros due to food waste per household per year, 60% of which could be avoided.
Scary, ain't it? Let's do something about it!