Today 16th October is World Food Day and it’s time to celebrate and explore some aspects of our food!
But we don’t want to celebrate any food, just the foods that nourish us. Eating food is not bad in and of itself, but we need to make good food choices. Unhealthy diets have become a leading risk factor of disease and death worldwide.
Harvard School of Public Health has created a pyramid that could be used as a grocery list for eating well.
The sharing of food has always been part fo the human story as we gather together to share a meal. The Bible references the importance of food in the phrase ‘to break bread together’. This captures the power of a meal to forge connections and relationships.
Food is our common ground, a universal experience – James Beard
There are so many benefits to sharing food, firstly it is a global language and it’s a connection. It’s at the centre of most gatherings and builds trust and respect with those who we share it with. In the workplace it boosts productivity and morale, in the home it build’s family resilience and in communities, it can build friendships and social capital.
Through the connections, we have facilitated on Spare Harvest we really couldn’t find a downside to sharing food.
Food for Life
Food is so much more than survival yet in 2017 821 million people, or roughly one in nine people were undernourished. Food for them is survival but it isn’t a question of access but also about quantity quality. United National Sustainability Goal 2 Zero Hunger asks us to rethink how we grow, share and consume our food.
The team at Spare Harvest recognise that food insecurity is not a third-world problem. The Foodbank Hunger Report 2019 indicated that last year more than one in five Australian’s (21%/5million) have been in a situation where they have run out of food and have been unable to buy more. That could be your neighbour and you could help by sharing what you have spare in the Spare Harvest marketplace.
The demand for food is set to increase according to the UN we may reach 9.7 billion people by 2050. This need will dramatically change the food production landscape as we try to grow more while minimising our environmental footprint. This demand for the right foods has seen an increase in people growing their own foods. We have also seen an uptake of new local farming models as we try to grow more food on less and grow it locally.
Here at Spare Harvest, we are connecting local growers to share seasonal gluts, seeds and seedlings, and various gardening resources. We encourage our community to grow for themselves and grow for their community. Plant an extra cucumber plant and share the harvest with your community on our marketplace.
We can’t celebrate food without looking at how much we are wasting. In Australia, food waste is not evenly distributed through the supply chain with households contributing the most.
Not only are all the resources used to grow the food wasted but when it is sent to landfill it produces methane, a greenhouse gas. According to the latest IPCC Assessment Report methane is 34 times more problematic than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period. The US EPA indicated that globally 50-65 percent of total methane emissions come from human activities with landfill contributions growing each year.
How can we celebrate food when we waste so much?
Not one person, group, organisation, government department or country has the responsibility to fight the food waste problem. It is everyone’s responsibility which is why Spare Harvest’s mission is to connect people to exchange unwanted food so that it does not end up in landfill. By participating in the Circular Economy every little action done by millions of people will make a difference.
Our relationship with food is as varied as the people who eat it. For some, it is a healthy relationship for others not so much. But regardless of our connection, it is fundamental to our survival and that is a good enough reason to celebrate the joy of food.
Happy World Food Day!