World Food Day is celebrated every year on 16 October in honour of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. The theme for this year is: “Our Actions Are Our Future – Better Production, Better Nutrition, Better Environment and Better Life”. The theme is very apt because the food we choose and the way we consume it affect our health and our planet.
Right to food is a basic human right. However, statistics indicate that 805 million people, one in nine worldwide, live with chronic hunger. The record shows that 60% of the hungry in the world are women, almost 5 million children under the age of 5 die of malnutrition-related causes every year, while 4 in 10 children in poor countries are malnourished, damaging their bodies and brains.
Every human being has a fundamental right to be free from hunger and the right to adequate food. The world loses when people do not have enough to eat. Hungry people have learning difficulties, are less productive at work, are sick more often and live shorter lives. Hunger equally leads to increased levels of global insecurity and environmental degradation.
Ending hunger is, therefore, not just a moral imperative, but a good investment for society. Man’s surest survival strategy is to protect the body from illness. We have the state of our health on our hands, because we are part of our health, as we are part of our disease.
It is true that our diseases have their root in food. When we eat a balanced diet, the cells in the body will be nourished, their activities will be well and we will enjoy a feeling of well-being.
Food refers to the raw material that builds, maintains and repairs the body. We have two classes of food: balanced food and junk food. A balanced food contains the necessary nutritional chains of life in their right proportion and quality, whereas a junk food contains a certain percentage of what nourishes us, and the other percentage nourishes the doctor. Example of junk foods is food high in carbohydrate, through starchy foods, cholesterol-loaded via fatty meats, and poor cooking oil, chemicals from seasoning preservatives and additives.
For us to understand the effect of food on health, the body could be compared to an automobile that uses fuel for energy, engine oil for lubrication, water for cooling, brake oil for maintaining breaking efficiency and air in the tyres to make them more resilient to shock. Notably, when one wrong thing substitutes, the automobile will not function well until the problem is rectified. This is exactly what happens in the body.
We have reached a point where what we eat and how we live our lives should be our number one health concern. We now eat rich foods that contain substances that could induce heart problems, cancer, hypertension, fibroids, pile, diabetes, arthritis etcetera.
Man, in his civilized and modern way of living, try to improve on what nature has perfected and what he met was dietary inadequacies. For example, high procession of foods, have denatured food and, worsened man’s problem by adding chemicals that affect health adversely.
Our soil is depleted due to over-use. Crops are now grown by the use of chemicals which force growth artificially, resulting in more foods, but less nutrients. Some years back, there would have been no need for nutrition education because people enjoyed variety in food, to balance nutrients.
Today, it is difficult if not impossible for many families to have such luxury as variety in food when we compare our present day food with what was eaten by our grand-parents. It is clearly obvious that our food is poorer in quality but more appetizing due to its cosmetic dressing and seasonings.
Support federal and state governments’ actions against hunger and increased productivity, which ensure and assure reasonable and reliable incomes and economic growth.