by Marie Traynor RD,
Registered Dietitian and Public Health Nutritionist, LGL Health Unit
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization designates October 16 as World Food Day. Let me quote this year’s theme which is, “Our actions are our future. Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life.” It goes on to explain: Better production means working towards efficient, sustainable, and inclusive food and agriculture supply chains at all levels – local, regional, and global. And food now has to be produced with the changing climate and environment in mind.
Better nutrition speaks to ending hunger, achieving food security, and improved nutrition in all its forms, including promoting nutritious food, increasing access to healthy diets, and eating less highly-processed food. A better environment is one that protects, restores, and promotes sustainable use of land and water marine ecosystems. A better environment combats climate change – think reduce, reuse, recycle, and manage waste throughout the agriculture-food system.
And, lastly, seeing a better life means one that promotes inclusive economic growth by reducing inequalities throughout the food systems – inequalities between urban/rural areas, rich/poor countries, and between the male and female agriculture workers.
On World Food Day, it is important to consider our local food system or agri-food system. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization explains it this way:
The agri-food system covers the journey of food from farm to table – it starts when food is grown, harvested, processed, and packaged. It continues with the transportation, distribution, trade, or purchase of food, and its preparation, consumption and disposal. The food system also encompasses non-food products, forestry and biofuels for example. They, together with 1 billion people worldwide are a part of the activities, investments and choices that play a part in getting food and agricultural products to us.
Locally, readers can go to foodcoreLGL.ca to learn more about the local food system. There they’ll find the Food Charter for the United Counties of Leeds & Grenville and the County of Lanark, and toolkits with ideas for households, schools and municipalities to actually put the Food Charter into action – making the local food system a priority. At foodcoreLGL.ca, you’ll also find a food inventory and links to some local food groups. To learn more, go to foodcoreLGL.ca. The group is on Facebook and Instagram, or call 1-800-660-5853 and ask for foodcore.
For more information on how you can raise awareness in your community, your school and through social media, go to fao.org, and type ‘world food day 2021’ in the search box.