World Food Day 2021: Theme, Significance And How To Reduce Food Waste


World Food Day 2021 is celebrated all over the world on 16th October. It is an initiative by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. After 2020, this is the second time that World Food Day is falling at a time when countries all over the world are reeling from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The global event marks a day calling for worldwide awareness and collective action to combat the issue of hunger, and ensure healthy diets for all. Here’s all you need to know about this special day.

World Food Day 2021: Theme | Celebrating Food Heroes

In 2020, the theme for World Food Day was, “Grow, nourish, sustain. Together. Our actions are our future.” This was decided keeping in mind the suffering of millions during the pandemic. This year, the emphasis is on celebrating food heroes or individuals who have contributed to building a sustainable world where no one has to go hungry. The idea is that we all can be food heroes and contribute to the idea of building a hunger-free world. FAO has also highlighted the work of food heroes across the world who are working towards the same aspect.

World Food Day 2021: History and Significance | Why Is World Food Day Celebrated?

World Food Day was originally meant to mark the day that the FAO was established in the year 1979. However, it gradually became a way to raise awareness about hunger, malnutrition, sustainability and food production. The UN Secretary-General is convening the very first Food Systems Summit in September 2021. The FAO website highlights some shocking statistics about food and hunger, as well as the agri-food system.

  • Almost 40% of the world’s population cannot afford a healthy diet.
  • 2 million people are obese or overweight due to poor diet and sedentary lifestyles.
  • The world’s food systems are responsible for more than 33% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • 14% of the world’s food is lost due to inadequate harvesting, handling, storage, and transit, and 17% is wasted at a consumer level.
  • The world’s agri-food systems employ over 1 billion people which is more than any other sector.

(Also Read: World Food Day: 6 Bad Food Habits You Must Get Rid Of Today)

World Food Day 2021: What Can We Do To Reduce Food Waste?

According to the FAO, we can all be food heroes and do our bit to help. Whether we are a part of the government, or private sector, civil society, or academia – it is important to learn from nature by ‘acting with nature’. Here are a few ways you can begin to take action:

  1. Choose a healthy diet and avoid ultra-processed foods, to influence what the market provides us and maintain a healthy body and environment.
  2. Select products which are healthy for you and sustainable for the environment too. Read the labels and packaging carefully before selecting the products.
  3. Improve food storage and reduce wastage at home. As FAO suggests, “Buy what you use and use it all!”
  4. Recycle as much as possible and reuse old water at home. Try composting and put nutrients back into the soil. You can also start your own green patch of fruits, vegetables, or herbs.
  5. Support small farmers and local producers to nurture local ecosystems.

Happy World Food Day 2021!

About Aditi AhujaAditi loves talking to and meeting like-minded foodies (especially the kind who like veg momos). Plus points if you get her bad jokes and sitcom references, or if you recommend a new place to eat at.


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