Wednesday is World Food Day, recognized every October 16th since 1945 when the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was formed as an agency of the United Nations. The main message of World Food Day every year is achieving zero hunger around the world.
But the FAO points out that it’s not enough to just address hunger and this year is putting the focus on accessible and affordable diets that are healthy for both people and the planet.
The FAO says the mass consumption of unhealthy and processed food is fueling obesity epidemics and other types of malnutrition, which costs health care systems around the world trillions of dollars every year.
But the FAO also points out that our planet is also sick when it comes to food production, thanks to industrialized agricultural practices and climate change. The FAO says in human history as many as 6,000 plant species were used in for crops. Today, just nine plant species make up 66 per cent of crop production. Crop diversity is a key part of healthy food production and agricultural sustainability.
At OPSEU, we know how important it is for everyone to do their part and that’s why we have installed bee hives on the roof of our head office in Toronto. Bees are critical pollinators and they keep our crops – and the planet – healthy and thriving.
There is a lot of food for thought this World Food Day. But we need to put those thoughts into action through the food choices we make for ourselves and advocating for more affordable nutritious foods and sustainable agricultural practices.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, First Vice-President/Treasurer