World Food Day is celebrated every year around the globe on 16 October in honour of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945. Each year the celebration is themed and this year the focus is on Healthy Diets for a #ZeroHunger World!
According to the #WorldFoodDay video, over 820 million people suffer from hunger, but even more, are overweight and obese. It carries on to say that #ZeroHunger goes beyond hunger – it means enough nutritious food for everyone, everywhere; and that we need to take action to make healthy diets available to all!
To cultivate those actions in our own lives, the FAO has broken it down into three easy-to-follow categories – Diet, Planet and Life Choices:
- Add vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts and whole grains to your diet
- Cut back on refined starches, sugar, fats and salt
- Swap refined ‘white’ foods for more nutritious ‘brown’ options like brown rice, wholemeal flour and bread etc.
- Know your fats: unsaturated (found in fish, nuts; and in sunflower, soybean, canola and olive oils) are better than saturated (found in fatty meat, butter etc.) and trans-fats (found in fried foods, among others)
- Think about the environment and the impact of the foods we eat, and try to reduce your food print – whether it be prioritising foods that require less natural resources to cultivate, or to avoid buying foods that have excessive amounts of packaging
- Diversify your diet – include traditional, local and seasonal
- Eat sustainably sourced Halaal fish – follow the SASSI traffic-light system for more guidance, where green is the most sustainable choice, orange less so, and red is the list of fish to avoid at all costs
- Keep your food fresh by storing it correctly which in turn decreases waste
- Eat in company and cook at home – research shows it’s good for your health and it leads to lower rates of obesity and eating disorders in youth
- Learn to read labels – understanding labels can help you choose a healthy diet
- Be a critical consumer and don’t let packaging or advertising sway you
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes, every day – children and youth should dedicate at least 60 minutes to physical activity each day
- Ask for healthier meal choices whether at your workplace or in child-care centres, schools and youth clubs
- And last, but not least, talk to people, share your knowledge and respect for food – for example learn to cook or swap recipes, grow your own food, participate in a community garden, or organise dinners with friends.
Even if we adopt only one or two of the choices from each category, it’s sure to have a positive influence on our wellbeing – so, from all at N1, your leading South African meat wholesalers, may this World Food Day be a jumpstart into a healthier you!