Today is World Food Day!
I recently saw this little holiday on my Calender and thought “Hey! I like food, World Food Day sounds like a holiday for me!” After doing a little research I discovered that World Food Day is not in fact a day for those who love food to celebrate by eating as much of it as they can (much to my disappointment). But in fact this years 2013 theme is “Sustainable Food Systems for Security and Nutrition” and so after doing a little more research, to figure out what the heck that meant, I discovered that this was actually a pretty interesting topic for those who care about the food they put into their bodies.
For those who don’t know, Sustainable Food Systems is about promoting the health, both mental and physical, of all those who are related to the food industry. This includes farmers, workers and eaters (that’s me). As well as securing a foods safety and nutrition throughout it’s entire life-cycle, this includes how it’s produced, processed, packaged, labeled, distributed, marketed, consumed and finally disposed of. Much of this work is done by Universities, research agencies and organizations right here in the United States as well as many more countries around the world, hence “World” Food Day. Each countries goal is to empower their own farmers, workers and eaters to actively participate in the decision making in all sectors of the system. The part where “Sustainable” comes into play is in trying to conserve, protect and regenerate our own countries natural resources. It is important to meet our current food and nutrition needs without compromising the needs of future generations. The agencies and organizations involved in this research are taking into account the changes in our own culture, climate and economy in order to safely and efficiently put food on our tables as well as ensure that there will be food for our children’s children’s tables. And I have to say, I think that’s pretty cool.
I find it easy in today’s day and age to forget about where our food comes from and how much goes into (and has been going into) making sure it is safe for us to eat. I have always tried to be conscious of supporting local companies and products whenever possible and a great place to do that is at your local Farmers Market. I am fortunate to live in a city with a great Farmers Market. For those living in Rochester I encourage you to head down to the Downtown Farmers Market this Saturday morning. Whether it be a weekly ritual or your first time, talk with some of the local vendors, you’re sure to meet some wonderful and interesting new people. If you’re not in Rochester, check out your own towns farmers market or if nothing else, take a moment today while you’re eating lunch to appreciate the amount of effort and research that went into making that meal possible. And then stop thinking and just enjoy your lunch!
Happy World Food Day!