Nohunger

To win the battle against hunger and malnutrition food production should be increased. Global food production should increase by atleast 60% to meet the growing demand for food. Production should be increased but the land available for agriculture and natural resources will decrease due to the rapidly increasing population. Food production must be achieved in a efficient and sustainable manner. Good farming practices should be followed to intensify agricultural production in a sustainable manner to reduce food insecurity , malnutrition and poverty.

In developing countries people in rural areas are affected by poverty and hunger.75% of people in developing countries live in rural areas. Rural households generate income from agriculture. These smallholders don’t just sell what they produce but also consume a part of what they produce. These smallholders should be encouraged to follow sustainable agriculture. The methods involved in sustainable agriculture produces food which is healthy , causes no harm to the environment. It also gives financial benefits to the farmers and boosts up the rural communities. Sustainable agriculture is the key to ensure continued productivity and stability of world’s agricultural production.

 

images-5

 

A community’s environmental , economic and social well-being can be enhanced through sustainable food system. A sustainable food system can be achieved through sustainable agriculture. Sustainable agriculture is following agricultural methods which are economically viable , environmentally sound and also protects public health. It contributes to the growth of nutritious and healthy food. It also raises the standard of living of the farmer. It is resilient to the changes in climate and energy. It encourages farmers to employ recycling methods apart from the conventional farming techniques. No chemicals are used in sustainable agriculture. Crop rotation will also be followed and the fertility of the soil will be preserved. Eating sustainable food has health benefits for sustainably grown fruits , vegetables and grains have a higher nutrient density than other foods. Waste will also be managed inside the farm itself. Sustainable agriculture benefits the farmer , their families , the environment and farm animals.

Conservation agriculture is an approach for improved and sustained food productivity and food security without disrupting the soil’s structure , composition and natural biodiversity. Climate smart agriculture is another approach to transform and reorient agricultural systems and achieve food security in a changing climate.

 

diuretic-food

 

Efficient , well managed and sustainable food systems are essential to end hunger and malnutrition and also to protect the environment. A sustainable food system can be achieved by changing the ways in which food is produced , processed , transported and consumed. Food consumption is affected by food availability , food accessibility and food choice. Much of the food consumed by the poor comes from small family farms run by poor farmers. When these smallholders become sustainable they will have enough food to eat and also they will be able to sell the excess.World’s hunger and poverty can be solved when these smallholders are educated about sustainable agriculture. By doing this the farmer who produces the food and the people who consume the food will live a healthy life.

Nutrition is the supply of food required by the body for a healthy growth. Good nutrition is essential to lead a healthy and productive life. Hunger is experienced when a person is not eating enough food to fulfill the physiological needs. When a person is hungry for a period of time , he/she can develop mild or severe malnutrition depending on the needs of their body and food intake. Malnutrition results from unbalanced or insufficient diet. Hunger and malnutrition are related to each other. Malnutrition is the imbalance between the nutrients the body needs and the nutrients it gets. Good nutrition will prevent diseases and promote health. Poor nutrition will lead to reduced immunity , reduced susceptibility to diseases and impaired physical and mental development.

3.1 million children die every year due to malnutrition. 45% of death in children are due to nutrition-related factors. 165 million children who manage to survive malnutrition in their early years experience stunted growth and cognitive development. 5.6 million children die due to acute malnutrition. Stunting or ‘lower than normal growth’ in children is a common consequence of poor nutrition. Stunting starts in the womb of malnourished mother.

 

images (5)

 

The first 1000 days of a child’s life which starts from pregnancy is the crucial time period which determines a child’s future development. Most pregnant women living in low and middle income countries cannot access nutrition services until the fifth or sixth month of their pregnancies. This makes children start their life malnourished. Globally , one quarter of children are stunted , because they are not getting enough nutrients. Acute malnutrition in children increases the rise of death by upto nine-fold. 100 million children in Asia are stunted and one quarter of Asia’s 350 million children under the age of five are underweight because they do not consume nutritious food. Proper nutrition promotes optimal growth and development of children. Most of the world’s undernourished people are found in Southern Asia , followed by sub-Saharan Africa , Eastern Asia , Latin America and Caribbean.

The consequences of malnutrition are :

  • Increased risk of death
  • Increased prevalence of diet related non- communicable diseases
  • Serious chronic health conditions

There is no ideal diet that is suitable for everyone. The food habits to be followed to avoid malnutrition are :

  1. Eat starchy carbohydrates as the basis of most meals
  2. Eat variety of fruits and vegetables
  3. Eat legumes regularly
  4. Consume milk and milk products regularly
  5. Eat meat , poultry , eggs and fish regularly
  6. Include moderate amount of fat and oil in diet
  7. Drink plenty of water regularly

Malnutrition can also occur from improper water treatment. Untreated water is one of the leading causes of malnutrition. When malnutrition is severe the damage done to the body is permanent. Poverty , natural disasters , political problems and war contribute to malnutrition and starvation. Starvation is also a form of malnutrition. If malnutrition is caused by medical condition then the illness has to be treated in order to reverse the nutritional deficiency.

Undernutrition is a form of malnutrition caused by inadequate food supply or inability to use the nutrients in food. Undernutrition is a deficiency of calories or deficiency of one or more nutrients. Undernutrition affects young children.

 

images (1)

 

Nearly half of all child deaths are related to undernutrition. Even those undernourished children who survive early childhood are likely to be stunted and the burden of undernutrition stays with them for life. Undernutrition can be overcome by ensuring that food reaches all those suffering from inadequate calorie consumption.

Every country in the world has problems of malnutrition which includes both undernutrition and obesity. A quarter of the globe does not get the right amount of vitamins and minerals needed to lead a healthy life. We can overcome the problems caused by malnutrition by providing nutritious food to all. Protein rich food should be available to all. Crop-livesock integrated production would be beneficial to small farmers both in terms of nutrition and income. The starting point should be small farm families , who are responsible for producing the food we consume , but are also among the most undernourished.

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization food security is , when all people , at all times , have physical , social and economic access to sufficient , safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Food supplies are not stable in all the areas. Food security refers to the availability of food and one’s access to it. A household is considered food secure when it’s occupants do not live in hunger or fear of starvation. Food security ensures the availability , accessibility and proper utilization of food.

The four interrelated elements of food security are availability , access , utilization and stability.

Food availability : Sufficient quantities of necessary types of food should be consistently available to individuals through domestic production or commercial imports. Availability includes not only the quantity but also the quality and diversity of food. Improving availability requires sustainable productive farming systems , well managed natural resources and policies to enhance productivity.

Food access : Access means economic and physical access to food. Individuals should have adequate income to purchase food required for an adequate diet and nutritional level. Smallholders should have better access to market allowing them to generate more income from their crops and livestock products.

 

large_977xGw-D5ZaXc10GVt8-ToYnqOj_pqej8R2tlX7sKe8

 

Food utilization : Utilization is about how the body gets the various nutrients from food. A person’s nutrition status is affected by feeding practices , food preparation , diversity in their diet , health and intra-household distribution of food. Improving utilization requires improving nutrition and food safety , increasing diversity in diets , reducing post harvest loss and adding value to food. Food should be properly used and suitable techniques should be employed for storage.

Food stability : Stability is being food secure at all times. It is achieved through availability , access and utilization of food by all people at all times.

Food security can be achieved only when all four elements are fulfilled simultaneously. The other factors affecting food security are fair trade , local food reserve , agroecology  , initiatives for small farmers and less food wastage. First factor affecting food security is its availability and stability of supply. Food availability and stability depends on local production , ability to import and efficiency of food distribution systems.

 

haryana_leaf_chart-VReddy

 

Agriculture and forestry can improve food security. Agriculture is the single largest employer in the world. It provides livelihood to 40% of global population. It is the largest source of income for poor rural households. 50 million small farms worldwide provide upto 80% of food consumed in the developing world. Investing in smallholders is an important way to increase food security and nutrition for the poor and food production for local and global markets.

Food security should be created through sustainable food systems. Climate smart agriculture and conservation agriculture can help achieve food security without disturbing the environment. The climate change is negatively impacting agricultural production globally and locally. Impacts on agriculture threaten food security. Food security and climate change are interlinked. Resilient agricultural systems which can withstand climate change will ensure food security.

Food security and nutrition are inextricably linked. When food supplies are insecure or when food becomes scarce people ignore hygiene , safety and nutrition. They consume less nutritious and unsafe food products. Food security should be achieved to fight malnutrition and to give the world’s poorest people a chance to lead healthier and happier life.

 

About one-third of food produced in the world for human consumption gets lost or wasted. This means that one in four calories intended for consumption is never actually eaten. The amount of food lost and wasted every year is equal to more than half of the world’s annual cereals produced. “Food loss and waste” refers to edible parts of plants and animals that are produced or harvested for human consumption but they are not consumed by people.

Food loss refers to food that spills , spoils, or gets lost before it reaches the consumer. Food waste refers to food that is of good quality and fit for human consumption but it does not get consumed and it is thrown away either before or after it spoils. Food waste is the result of negligence or a conscious decision to throw food away.

 

images (5)

33% of the total food produced globally is wasted.

The cost of the wasted food is around $750 billion.

Food grown on 28% of farmland in the world is never consumed by people.

6-10% of greenhouse gases come from wasted food.39% of household food waste is fruits and vegetables.

In terms of calories , farmers harvest 4,600 calories of food per person per day. But on average only 2,000 calories are actually eaten everyday. More than half the calories we produce are lost from farm to table. The environmental impact of all this wasted food is enormous. The amount of land needed to grow all the food wasted in the world each year would be the size of Mexico. The water which is needed to irrigate these wasted crops would be enough for the daily needs of 9 million people.

Food losses and waste occurs at all stages from the farm to the table. Losses on the farm , at storage and handling account for more than 520 million tonnes. Losses on the farm and during storage are high in poorer countries. These losses affect the small farmers who have poor access to the means of preventing losses.

 

images (1)

Large quantities of food products are lost when they are being processed , stored and handled in supermarkets and households. This leads to a global waste of 780 million tonnes of food. Almost half of the total food is wasted because producers , retailers and consumers discard food that is still fit for consumption.

Fruits , vegetables , roots and tubers have the highest wastage rates. 45% of fruits and vegetables produced are wasted. 35% of fish and seafood are wasted. 8% of fish caught globally is thrown back into the sea. In most cases they are dead , dying or badly damaged. 30% of cereals produced is wasted or thrown away. 20% of oilseeds and pulses produced globally are wasted or lost. 20% of meat produced is lost.  20% of dairy products are lost or wasted. If the amount of food wasted were reduced by 25% there would be enough food to feed all the people who are malnourished.

 

 

 

The main reasons for food wastage are :

  • Financial , managerial and technical limitations in harvesting techniques.
  • Limitations in storage and cooling facilities
  • Packing and marketing systems
  • Quality standards that overemphasize appearance
  • Confusion over date labels.
  • Throwing away edible food due to over buying

To avoid food wastage at home we should shop smart , plan meals and use grocery list to avoid impulse buying. We should check what food we have at home before going to the shops to buy food products. Fruits and vegetables are often thrown away because their size , shape or colour do not match aesthetic standards. But they are good to be consumed. Purchase them and avoid throwing them into the bin. We should find out how to store fruits and vegetables. Food should be stored between 1-5 degree Celsius in the refrigerator for maximum freshness and shelf life. We should use older food products before opening new ones. Bring leftovers home when eating in a restaurant.

We should understand “Use by” and “Best before” dates on food packages. “Use by” means a date by which the food is safe to be eaten. “Best before” means the food is of expected quality before the date mentioned on the packaging. Do not throw away good food in to the bin. Freeze them and save them so that you can eat them later. Nutritious , safe and untouched food can be donated to food banks to help those in need. Make a compost using food scraps rather than throwing them away.

14523

Avoiding waste in the food chain – in the field , processing and storage and in people’s houses is a good way to make the most of the crops a farmer grows. Reducing food wastage can contribute to food security which will ensure that all people at all times have sufficient , safe and nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life. Food wastage is a missed opportunity to improve food security and comes at a steep environmental price.

Agriculture continues to be the biggest employer in the world with 40% of world’s population working on it. Agriculture is the supplier of nutrition , which is the basic human need. Of the estimated 805 million people experiencing chronic hunger globally , around three-fourth live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for food and livelihood. To create a world free from poverty and hunger , we must make it a priority to invest in rural areas of developing countries where most of the world’s poorest and hungriest people live. Sufficient and suitable food supply is necessary for eliminating poverty and hunger. It is necessary to increase total farm productivity in developing countries where food is needed most.

Sustainable agriculture allows us to produce and enjoy healthy food without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same. Sustainable agriculture is the production of food , fiber or animal products using farming techniques that protect the environment , public health , human communities and animal welfare.

images (1)

The key to sustainable agriculture is finding the right balance between the need for food production and the preservation of environmental ecosystems. Sustainable farms grow a variety of plants and use techniques such as crop rotation , conservation tillage and pasture based livestock husbandry. Sustainable agriculture includes sustainable land management , soil conservation , improved water management , diversified agricultural systems and agroforestry. These are followed to produce more outputs from the same area of land while reducing negative environmental impacts. Sustainable agriculture seeks to make the most efficient use of natural resources by integrating certain processes like soil regeneration , nitrogen fixation and nutrient cycling into food production processes. Sustainable agriculture also promotes economic stability for farms and helps farmers to improve their quality of life.

images

Sustainable farms avoid hazardous pesticides. Sustainable livestock farmers and ranchers raise animals without dangerous practices like use of non- therapeutic antibiotics or arsenic based growth promoters. By raising livestock on pastures , these farmers enable their animals to move freely , consume a natural diet and avoid the stress and illness associated with confinement. Through careful , responsible management of livestock waste , sustainable farmers also protect us from exposure to pathogens , toxins and other hazardous pollutants.

Dry-Ridge-Farm32015

70% of food is grown on smallholder farms. Success comes from protecting and empowering such farmers. These small farms have been able to provide a steady supply of nutritious food. With better food and reliable incomes farmers help to build a healthy , hunger-free future.

By 2050 , we will need approximately 70% more food than is currently being produced in order to provide the estimated 9.6 billion world population with their recommended daily calorie intake. We all need to eat but by simply reducing the food waste and investing in sustainable agriculture , we can definitely make a difference.

Today 795 million people in the world are hungry , 1 in 9 of global population. And an additional 2 billion are expected by 2050. Asia is the continent with most hungry people , two-thirds of the total. The biggest risk to global health is hunger. Hunger leads to malnutrition and also deaths which are preventable. The first step to overcome this is “Awareness”. The good news is that we have enough food for everyone and the bad news is too much of this food goes waste.

The United Nations’s “Global Goal 2 : Zero Hunger” aims to end hunger. The main objectives of this are : to end hunger , to achieve food security and improved nutrition and to promote sustainable agriculture. Global Goal 2 aims to end hunger and malnutrition by 2030.

Food security is to enable people to access sufficient , safe and nutritious food. Sufficient does not mean just quantity but also the quality of food. To do this we have to ensure sustainable food production. Agricultural productivity has to be doubled. Agriculture can be improved by investing more in agricultural research and development , by using better fertilizers and herbicides. We have to follow resilient agricultural practices to increase productivity. This will lessen variations in food availability. Support should be given to people raising and herding livestocks and fishing should also be encouraged.

Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year – approximately 1.3 billion tonnes – gets lost or wasted. Fruits , vegetables , roots and tubers have the highest wastage rates. Every year consumers in rich countries waste almost 222 million tonnes of food. In developing countries 40% losses occur at post harvest and processing levels. Even if just one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted globally could be saved , it would be enough to feed 810 million people in the world.

People should be taught not to waste food. If there is excess food it should be given to those who are hungry. Do not throw out unsold food. Donate it to the charities. By doing this we can also help in feeding the hungry and undernourished people in the world.