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How can you be a food hero? 3 ways you can help the planet this World Food Day

3 min read
AUTHOR: Grace Williams
woman in field holding box

Our actions are our future

Saturday 16th October marks World Food Day 2021, an initiative by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations). The theme this year was: Food Heroes. The global event calls for worldwide awareness and action to reduce food poverty and improve our food systems and says that we can all be food heroes. 

Did you know?

More than 3 billion people (almost 40% of the world’s population) cannot afford a healthy diet, says the FAO

So how can we be food heroes and help the planet?

1. Opt for nutritious, sustainable products

Simply opting for healthier choices when food shopping can collectively have a huge impact on global food systems. Variety is also key, choose diverse foods to support biodiversity. We should reduce ultra-processed foods where possible, urging the government to respond to demand and introduce more sustainable practices.

2. Reduce food waste and recycle

Throwing away food wastes water and energy. Approximately one third of the world’s food – 1.3 billion tonnes – is wasted each year, says The Economist.

When thrown into landfill, food waste produces large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas. During decomposition, gases released are 25 times worse than Co2 in trapping heat in our atmosphere. To reduce food waste, don’t over buy, plan meals ahead and love your freezer!

Give nutrients back to the earth, try composting your leftover food. 

3. Support small food producers 

#supportlocal where possible. Choose local grocers with short, inclusive value chains, another reason to head to a Farmers’ Market on a weekend morning! Eat with the seasons and learn about local produce, even when traveling. You can also make better choices when buying food online, check out this UK directory of sites supporting small businesses. 

Did you know?

Agri-food systems employ 1 billion people worldwide, more than any other economic sector.

Food Matters Careers is helping build a brighter, more sustainable future for food. We work with the food industry, academia and young people, connecting and inspiring them. Join Food Matters Careers Week, 23-25 November.