Each year, World Food Day is an event that is celebrated for the sole purpose of combating hunger around the world. The 16th of October is the day of the year when people work together in the fight against hunger with the aim of eradicating it from people’s lives once and for all.
The event commemorates the formation of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which was first established on the 16th of October 1945 in Quebec, Canada. World Food Day has been celebrated by millions of people in almost every single country around the world since its inception in 1979.
World Food Day has adopted a different theme each year in order to highlight areas needed for action and provide a common focus. The theme for the year 2020 is Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together.
The event is not only about celebrating the amazing food that we have the privilege of indulging in, but it is also about raising awareness for people who do not have this privilege. Starvation is a massive issue in a number of countries, and this day was created to raise awareness and combat this problem.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed everything – including what and how we eat. Some people faced long lines at supermarkets, others could not buy food at all. Favourite restaurants were shut down. With street and food markets closed, many producers could not sell their produce. Countless family meals were missed, and millions have been pushed into hunger. The vast majority of those worst affected by hunger are people living in poorer countries. 805 million people, one in nine worldwide, live with chronic hunger and 60% of the people around the world who are hungry are women. Every year, almost 5 million children aged 5 and below die of causes related to malnutrition and 4 in 10 children in severely deprived countries are malnourished, which has damaged their bodies and brains. Each and every one of us can take part in this event. Not only will we be able to contribute to the fight against hunger, but we can also apply all the experiences and lessons we gain and learn from World Food Day in our daily lives.
All over the world, in many countries, government agencies, charities, schools, universities and other organisations set up conferences, seminars and exhibitions about hunger. Everyone can take part or attend these events and activities, which usually also raise funds for the eradication of hunger.
We can also use World Food Day to raise awareness about healthy diets and what our bodies need. In recent times, education has grown about healthy diets and what foods are good and bad for our bodies, but there is still some way to go. World Food Day gives us a great opportunity to further education and awareness in this area.
In the frame of TermCoord’s project Terminology without Borders, we created YourTerm FOOD, a terminology project aimed at creating multilingual glossaries about the food industry and gastronomy fields and promoting gastronomy as an essential part of our European heritage and education, but also to raise awareness on all issues linked to the food industry.
We also publish a weekly I·ATE term of the week feature: a post on food terminology presenting the similarities and differences of gastronomic culture between and in different countries.
Countries, the private sector, and civil society need to make sure that our food systems grow a variety of foods to nourish a growing population and sustain the planet, together.
We all have a role to play, be it by increasing the overall demand for nutritious food by choosing healthy options, or by not letting sustainable habits fall by the wayside, despite these uncertain times.
Written by Eva Gozlan. She is currently validating her Master’s degree in Translation and International Communication at ISIT School.