Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

16 October 2022

World Food Day

We, the consumers, must act to ensure that no one is left behind. We can change food systems for the better by being more responsible and showing greater empathy in our choices and actions.

The digital age we live in supplies us with an abundance of information literally at our fingertips. We must use this immense resource responsibly, for the benefit of everyone. As our globalized world becomes increasingly interdependent it is ever-more important that we remain accurately informed on global threats to food security and the solutions at hand. When someone is left behind, the effects can be widespread.

When correctly informed, an individual’s voice can become a powerful tool for change. Members of the public can call on local government and decision-makers to act positively on important topics such as the well-being of refugees and asylum seekers. By contacting representatives and those in positions of responsibility, and sharing reliable information within our spheres of influence, we can help ensure that those suffering are not forgotten.

Food banks have been busier than ever in recent years and the number of displaced people has increased dramatically. Donate money and non-perishable goods to food banks and relief organisations, but consider also how to volunteer at a local organization in your spare time. By helping out in your community, you can learn first-hand about the fragile and interconnected nature of our globalized world.

Buy and consume only what you need! Respect the farmers who produce your food, the resources used to make it and the people who go without. Effective meal-planning, proper food storage, creative leftover recipes and composting can all contribute to a more sustainable future where food systems are inclusive and work with nature, and not against it.

Globally, 3 in 4 people facing poverty and food insecurity rely on agriculture and natural resources for their livelihoods. Climate change hurts these people the most. We can try to make a difference by being more climate smart in our actions. Choose local foods that travel short distances from farm to table, limit consumption of resource-intensive foods and eat seasonal fruits and vegetables, which often require fewer chemical inputs.

Smallholder farmers produce more than 33 percent of the world’s food, yet many of them suffer poverty and food insecurity. They are often excluded from decision-making processes and have limited access to finance and innovative technologies in developing countries. Show your support for inclusive value chains by shopping at a Farmers’ Market and looking out for labels on food items indicating support for smallholder producers.

By reducing energy consumption and opting for renewable energy sources, we also reduce the impact of human activity on our environment and keep it healthier for food production. Use less energy by turning off lights and appliances when you don’t need them. Choose energy efficient products, plug air leaks in windows and doors, adjust your thermostat and air dry clothes. Together, we can create a cleaner and more affordable future for both people and the planet.