World Food Day 2017

FAO celebrates World Food Day each year on 16 October to commemorate the founding of the Organization in 1945. Events are organized in over 150 countries across the world, making it one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar. These events promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all.

For all of us, it is an opportunity to reflect on whether all people in the world have the same conditions to provide food for their children and for themselves, and how we approach ourselves in what is considered to be our “normal day food”. Morning coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and in the meantime something small and sweet. We rarely think of what we eat and even less of those who have not been lucky to be born in similar conditions. Let’s try to think about how it looks elsewhere. Here are ten facts you should know about hunger:

Fact 1: The world produces enough food to feed everyone, yet, about 800 million people suffer from hunger. That is one in nine people. 60% of them are women.

Fact 2: About 80% of the world’s extreme poor live in rural areas. Most of them depend on agriculture.

Fact 3: Hunger kills more people every year than malaria, tuberculosis and aids combined.

Fact 4: Around 45% of infant deaths are related to malnutrition.

Fact 5: The cost of malnutrition to the global economy is the equivalent of USD 3.5 trillion a year.

Fact 6: 1.9 billion people – more than a quarter of the world’s population – are overweight.

Fact 7: One third of the food produced worldwide is lost or wasted.

Fact 8: The world will need to produce 60 percent more food by 2050 to feed a growing population.

Fact 9: No other sector is more sensitive to climate change than agriculture.

Fact 10: FAO works mainly in rural areas, in 130 countries. They work with governments, civil society, the private sector and other partners to achieve #ZeroHunger.

Let’s try to think about how our world will look like in 20-30 years. Let’s be more responsible about eating and, above all, think about how much “edible waste” we produce each year. And how many people could survive thanks to our more responsible approach.

(Prepared according to information from FAO http://www.fao.org/world-food-day/2017/about/en/)

Ambassadors from the kitchen

Gastronomy and diplomacy. How is it possible to combine these two themes and to create memorable feelings that encourage us to learn about another culture and make it pleasant and useful?

Ambassadors from the kitchen

Is it possible to learn about other cultures through culinary art? These and other ideas I had when I first heard the words gastro and diplomacy. But when I remember the experiences of my life and my travels, the answer is simple. Of course, it is possible.

Ambassadors from the kitchen

A lively example is the Southeast Asia – Malaysia. Three nationalities that co-exist in one place, the Indians, the Chinese, and the Malaysian. Different nations and different beliefs. I had the opportunity to experience this country for six months, and on my own skin I experienced the immense diversity and at the same time the differences of their cultures. And the art of cooking, flavours and various pleasant scents has become a common interest for them, and I can say that also a passion for them. Not only are they proud of how they are famous because of their food all over the world, but they are always talking about the food, and it is the main topic for them. Even when I got into the Uber in the morning, the driver’s first question was always about what I had for breakfast. Soon after that, I was listening to what I was going to eat, or if for me the local food is not very spicy, and what is the typical food for my country. These debates have always been very open and full of inquisitive questions and recommendations about good food, and finally it has often brought us to the topics we do not usually talk about, which are a bit of a taboo. Especially in terms of religion and the effort to understand different views of the world. Gastronomy is, in this respect, a great key to opening a deeper debate.

Ambassadors from the kitchen

Isn’t it a nice idea? Other cultures, religions, customs, traditions and all that you know through food, not through conflicts and unpleasant experiences. The passion for food is really strong in Malaysia, helping to overcome the mutual prejudices among the different peoples living there. I thought that we should also use this in our Central European countries and open up even more to the new possibilities. Let’s try it. The food is connecting us.