October 16 – World Food Day

Posted on October 16, 2013

The date for a day to focus on food was chosen to honor the first day of the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization. And this year's food day has an important theme:

Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”

Sustainable” means a way of doing something so that you can continue to do it for years and years, decades, even centuries. Here are some practices that AREN'T very sustainable:

  • Growing the same crops in the same field for several years, but using up all the minerals and organic material needed to grow anything ever again. This is called depleting the soil.
  • Using almost all of the land to grow plants that will feed animals that people want to eat. There is far less meat produced from acres and acres of crops, compared to the vegetarian foods produced from the same acreage; and that is why it benefits everybody if you eat less meat and especially less beef. (As food writer Michael Pollan says, “eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”)
  • Cutting down a rain forest bursting at the seams with diversity – many different plants and animals – to plant a cash crop like coffee...but then losing much of the soil to erosion.

When it comes to food, fresh is better...
Check out PBS's website for information on sustainable agriculture. 

...than processed.
Food security” is a bigger concern in developing nations than in already-developed nations, although natural disasters or war could certainly affect food security in ANY nation! A group has food security if there is plenty of food, and it is easy to ship, sell, and buy the food. Sometimes a nation has suffered from a severe drought, but people from around the world send food as relief aid. But if that food cannot reach the people who are starving, it's of little use!

Of course, the whole point about food is to get nutrition. People need to eat plenty of protein, a little bit of fat and salt, and some carbohydrates. Learn about nutrition using the Nourish Interactive games and printables.

Also on this date:

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