You are here

World Food Day is celebrated every year on the 16th of October. Many global food-related organisations remember this day, as it is the one that touches everyone in the global food chain.  It begins with the farmer and ends with the consumer. In between are the interventions of village, cottage, micro, small, medium, large, and global industries to support the movement of safe, nutritious food. The world is realising more and more that we are standing on a shaky food insecurity system, especially after the Pandemic. The havoc created by the Corona Virus and natural catastrophes due to climate change is one reason, but there are other influences and regional conflicts that are pushing humanity towards increased food insecurity.


The varieties of grains, various horticultural products, the dairy chain and its products, meat, fish and poultry and the various spices and condiments that go with daily food are the result of the hard work of farmers and growers. However, if Food Science and Technology and the appropriate engineering inputs are not there in the farm and ocean produce, the value addition to the raw material will not happen. For example, wheat flour from wheat, rice from paddy, corn from corn cobs and the appropriate transportation and packing of perishables, milk processing to various products are some of the primary processing factors that are often taken for granted!


Society requires many other forms of food products that can be achieved by secondary processing - either from by-products or co-products and in packaged forms that can be directly consumed by the consumer. Products in  different forms, such as grain as flour and grits; dairy in cheese and butter; various oils; frozen products and spice powders point to knowledge-based technologies embedded in the sustainable food chain. Food Scientists and Technologists and Engineers are innovating and proving that new ways of minimising water, saving energy in the processes, and lessening the carbon footprints in the processing chain are indeed possible. All these steps, and people, and innovations, mark the importance of World Food Day because the entire Food Chain is interdependent on us all. Modern Science and Technology, through interdisciplinary interfaces and fusion, brings the needed appropriate, adoptable, and affordable technologies to the forefront. 


This brief would not be complete if we do not also consider traditional food practices. Traditional foods, ethnic foods, and the resulting food culture in a society is so rich, reaching across thousands of years, that we need to protect, nurture, and share this knowledge across regions and cultures to bring in that benefit to mankind. The focus of IUFoST in Food and Nutrition Security, Food Safety and Capacity Building across its members and fellows from various countries is to ensure a faster transition from the present stresses of food insecurity towards food security stability in a sustainable manner. I am optimistic that cutting-edge science-based approaches are the right way to move forward. We thank the farmer, the processor, the consumer, and all those who are involved in bringing food from the farm to the plate to make this world a better place with healthy and nutritious food reaching everyone young and old. 


Have a wonderful World Food Day and let us celebrate it in every home by sharing and caring for our fellow human beings.


Vish Prakash