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According to recently released report “Preventing nutrient loss and waste across the food system: Policy actions for high-quality diets”, one-in-five deaths is associated with poor-quality diets. It shows that regularly eating poor-quality food has become greater public health threat than malaria, tuberculosis or measles. The report was published by United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
As per FAO Report
More than half of all globally-produced fruits and vegetables are lost or wasted annually. Around 25% of all meat produced, equivalent to 75 million cows, goes uneaten. About one-third of food produced for human consumption never reaches consumer’s plate. Global food loss or waste annually is estimated to be around $1 trillion.
Nutrient-rich foods, like fruits, vegetables, seafood, meats are highly perishable, so susceptible to losses throughout increasingly complex food production systems. Globally, agriculture produces 22% more vitamin A required for human consumption, but after loss and waste, amount available is merely 11% per cent less than required.
In Low-income nations, food is mostly lost during harvesting, storage, processing and transportation while in high-income nations problem lies in retail and consumer level waste. Together, they directly impact number of calories and nutrients actually available for consumption. Reducing food loss and waste, mainly high-nutrient foods, has nutritional benefits and also contributes to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
FAO recommended solutions
Policymakers need to reduce food loss and waste in order to improve access to nutritious and healthy food. Food systems that increase availability, affordability and consumption of fresh, nutrient-rich food for everyone must be put in place to tackle all forms of malnutrition and to promote healthy diets.
Series of policy actions should be taken across entire food system, including educating all concerned, focusing on perishable foods, improving public and private infrastructure and closing data gaps on food losses and waste.
Reducing loss and waste of nutritious foods could yield substantial health benefits, given direct impact on wellbeing, learning capacity and productivity. Cutting down on food waste will yield major economic benefits. Besides, eating more of food already produced, will avoid wasting water, land and energy that went into its production.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
It is specialised agency of UN that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Its parent organization is UN Economic and Social Council (UNESC). It was established on 16 October 1945 and its headquarters are in Rome, It has 197 member states, along with European Union (member organization).
The World Food Day is observed globally on 16 October to mark foundation of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945. It is observed as day of action dedicated to tackling global hunger and aims to raise public awareness about hunger challenges and encourage people around world to take action in fight against hunger. It also shows commitment to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030. Events organised to celebrate this day promotes worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. The theme for this year was: ‘Our actions are our future – A zero hunger world by 2030 is possible’.
World Food Day was instituted in November 1979 by FAO’s Member Countries at its 20th General Conference of to raise awareness of issues behind poverty and hunger. The day was observed for the first time it on 16 October 1981 and idea of celebrating the WFD worldwide was mooted by Hungarian Delegation to FAO.
Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
FAO is specialised agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Its parent organization is UN Economic and Social Council (UNESC). It is neutral forum serving both developed and developing countries where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. It was established on 16 October 1945 and its headquarters are in Rome, Italy. Its motto is “Let there be bread”. It has 194 member states, along with the European Union (member organization). FAO meet the demands posed by major global trends in agricultural development and challenges faced by member nations. It helps countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices, ensuring good nutrition and food security for all.