Today is World Food Day. Every year on the 16th of October people all over the world celebrate, discuss, and chew on issues all about food. 

Organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, World Food Day has become a global event, it’s main focus on reducing world hunger. This year the theme is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition,” a theme that is far-reaching and all-encompassing. Hunger is recognised as a very immediate global issue, but part of eventually solving the issue is in a long term approach.

This year’s theme focuses on celebrating what is already being done to ensure food security in the long term, and on discussing what needs to be done to make sure that the future of our national and global food systems is secure and sustainable to ensure that global hunger is on the wane rather than the increase.

In Australia people are coming together to jam on these issues at various events across the country. In Macarthur, smack-bang in the middle of Sydney’s food bowl, Macarthur FUTURE FOOD Forum and Macarthur Food Security Project are teaming up to present an official World Food Day event with nutritionist and advocate Rosemary Stanton, OzHarvest founder Ronni Kahn, and host of Gardening Australia and YFM supporter Costa Georgiadis speaking about the importance of local and sustainable production for future food security and nutrition.

Costa is also launching the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance‘s revised Peoples’ Food Plan for Australia at the event. Renowned food writer Michael Pollan commented on the launch of the plan, saying:

“The concept and practice of Food Sovereignty is one of the most important developments to come out of the global food movement in recent years. Australia’s People’s Food Plan represents a particularly well-thought-out effort to implement these ideas. The breathtakingly simple notion that a nation’s food system should be shaped democratically could not be more powerful or radical.”

This concept translates very much into the message of World Food Day, in that people should have control over their own food systems, and that by doing so the food systems should be healthier, more sustainable, and more secure.

Whilst World Food Day is for just one day, the message is one for the future. It is inspiration for us to take their message forward and implement it, focusing on the work to be done to further these goals, rather than just celebrating our successes up to this point.

Tonight, YFM Co-founder Alexandra Iljadica, along with 2010 Masterchef winner and renowned foodie Adam Liaw, are speaking at a “Paddock to Plate” dinner hosted by the United Nations Association of Australia Young Professionals NSW in celebration of UN Day and World Food Day. The food is locally produced and will be made from sustainable food and beverages at the acclaimed Kitchen By Mike with proceeds going to UNICEF Australia’s nutrition programs and the UNAA Young Professionals NSW.

Speaking before the event Alex centres on the issues facing Australia this World Food Day:

“What is important in our minds is mindfulness about the origins of our food, and the positive impacts this can have on our food system. In Australia we see a system with high levels of waste, an ageing farming population, and obesity and malnutrition issues on both ends of the scale.

“Creating a community of young people around food, where strong relationships exist between producers and consumers – and everyone in between – creates value around food and is really what YFM are all about.”

Alex also speaks about the upcoming Short Film that YFM are producing – where people will be able to see the great work young, local producers are doing – and another upcoming Reel Food Night as ways to engage young people, “People who don’t have the time to go to farms each weekend!” with their food system.

As it stands Alex, and YFM, see World Food Day as a celebration of change, that it is coming and happening. It is a chance to focus on the future, and how we are enabled to impact change as consumers. Alex asks, “What am I going to do tomorrow? What food will I buy and what do I want to support with these choices?”

Article by David Matthews

Youth Food Movement