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World Food Day: 4 Ways to Celebrate and Make a Difference

World Food Day was created by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to bring awareness to its purpose of achieving #ZeroHunger. Their mission is to initiate greater progress towards combating malnutrition and food insecurity. The USDA defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle. What most of us don’t realize is that there is so much we can do to take action against hunger and be a part of the change.

Here’s how:

Donate, Volunteer, Get Involved. Food banks and non-profit organizations are constantly searching for food and financial donations. Not everyone can donate, and even if you can, volunteering is a great way to show your support. Volunteering gives you the ability to connect with your community and make small contributions that lead to a BIG impact. Looking to really make a difference? Start a food drive or a community garden in your area and empower your peers to do more.

Start talking

Food insecurity is happening every day, in our own backyard. In 2018, 37.2 million people lived in food insecure households in the US (USDA). It’s important that we start the conversation about hunger and the impact food has on our resources. This can be as simple as exchanging healthy recipes, exercising with friends, or organizing group dinners and potlucks.

Eliminate waste

In the US, food waste is estimated to be between 30-40 percent of the food supply (USDA). Simple modifications help reduce food waste like keeping your food fresh through proper storage methods. Keep an eye out for unnecessary plastic, pick out fresh produce rather than pre-sliced options in plastic wrap, and take up meal prepping using containers that are reusable and dishwasher safe!

Shop environmentally conscious

Buy seasonal, local, and organic.  Supporting biodiversity is good for your health and good for the planet.  It’s important to think about foods that require less resources from our environment. Reducing red meat and processed food intake are good ways to alleviate the use of our planet’s resources. Fish is a great, healthy protein but it’s important to look for eco-labeled, wild-caught, or certified farmed fish. Branch out and try more unique alternatives: go for clams, oysters, mussels or scallops instead of tuna, salmon, or shrimp.

Working these small adaptations into your routine can make a significant impact. Supporting #ZeroHunger and saving the environment can be as simple as managing the food on our plate.

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