World Food Day isn’t just a day to treat yourself to your favourite delicious meal (but you’re welcome to do that too), but is a day of action against hunger.
October 16 celebrates the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in 1945, and is an opportunity for us to come together and declare our commitment to eradicating hunger.
Hunger is still a big problem in many parts of the world: a staggering one in nine people live with chronic hunger – and almost five million children under the age of five die of malnutrition-related causes every year. This is something we just can’t stand for.
Each year has a theme, and this year’s is all about climate change. The organisation says: “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.”
The FAO argues that we can end hunger in our lifetime, and today is a day where we can take stock and think about how we can help.
Don’t think that World Food Day is just some lofty event organised by the UN – there are many ways you can get involved at home. We’ve come up with a handy list of ways you can do your bit and cut down on food waste – because why should we waste so much food when so many people are in need?
1. Don’t buy more than you need
This sounds like a simple point, but it can make a huge difference. Let’s face it, most of us end up buying more food than we need, and the rest of it tends to end up in the bin. If you’re more realistic in how you shop, you can cut down on food waste significantly.
2. Eat your leftovers
If you do end up buying more than you eat, don’t throw it away but repurpose the meals into leftovers. Why cook and eat once, when you can cook and eat for days? Trust us: your freezer will become your new best friend.
3. Make a weekly food diary
If you note down everything you eat and everything you throw away, it’ll be easy for you to readjust your shopping to minimise on waste. As an added bonus, it’ll also end up saving you some money.
4. Make sure you’re storing food properly
So much food is wasted because it’s not stored in the right way. So frustrating! Check that you’re storing everything properly and your food won’t go off as quickly, it’s as easy as that.
5. Don’t chuck out food that’s gone off
We’re not saying you should be eating mouldy bread here, but it’s always worthwhile having a look at your food before you throw it out. Soft fruit? Perfect in a smoothie. Veg that’s a bit on the nose? Make it into a soup and you’re laughing.
6. Think about your portions
Most of us are guilty of having eyes bigger than belly. You can start readjusting the portions in your meal to be a bit more realistic by using your hand as a handy loose guideline:
- Your palm makes up the protein in the meal
- You fist makes up the veggies
- Your cupped hand is the carbs
- Your thumb is the fat
7. Have a look at your fridge
Apparently 70% of us have our fridges set at too high a temperature, which seems like absolute madness. If you’re one of these people, turn your fridge down and your food will thank you for it by staying fresher for longer.
8. Donate to food banks
Help those who are in need by giving any food that you don’t want to your local food bank.
These are just a handful of the small changes you can make to help combat food waste. And if you didn’t already need the incentive, it’ll helpfully save you a bit of money too.