World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. The day is celebrated widely by many other organizations concerned with food security, including the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
The World Food Day theme for 2014 is Family Farming: “Feeding the world, caring for the earth”
World Food Day (WFD) was established by FAO’s Member Countries at the Organization’s 20th General Conference in November 1945. The Hungarian Delegation, led by the former Hungarian Minister of Agriculture and Food Dr. Pál Romány, played an active role at the 20th Session of the FAO Conference and suggested the idea of celebrating the WFD worldwide. It has since been observed every year in more than 150 countries, raising awareness of the issues behind poverty and hunger.
Since 1981, World Food Day has adopted a different theme each year in order to highlight areas needed for action and provide a common focus.
Most of the themes revolve around agriculture because only investment in agriculture – together with support for education and health – will turn this situation around. The bulk of that investment will have to come from the private sector, with public investment playing a crucial role, especially in view of its facilitating and stimulating effect on private investment.
The World Food Day theme for 2014 is Family Farming: “Feeding the world, caring for the earth”
In spite of the importance of agriculture as the driving force in the economies of many developing countries, this vital sector is frequently starved of investment. In particular, foreign aid to agriculture has shown marked declines over the past 20 years.
Events take place in over 150 countries to mark World Food Day. Below are example of events held across the world in recent years.
United States of America
World Food Day has been a tradition in the USA since the first World Food Day in 1982. In the United States the endeavor is sponsored by 450 national, private voluntary organizations. One example for World Food Day events is the World Food Day Sunday Dinners that Oxfam America sponsors in collaboration with several other non profits. Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu and author Francis Moore Lappe have teamed up with Oxfam America to promote World Food Day Sunday Dinners. The Iowa Hunger Summit has been held on or near World Food Day since 2007, and is organized by the World Food Prize in conjunction with their annual symposium in Des Moines, Iowa.
In Italy, ministries, universities, research agencies, international agencies and NGOs have organized many conferences as well as exhibitions and symposia. The Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Policies organized a meeting which focused on women’s rights in rural areas in 2005.
In Germany, the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture have all become involved via press conferences. Spanish television has been active in broadcasting events. FAO Goodwill Ambassador – Spanish soccer star Raul – has taken part in events and helped highlight food-security issues across his country.
The U.K. Food Group has also been active through conferences and media broadcasts. In the emerging economies of Eastern Europe – i.e., Albania, Armenia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovak Republic – a variety of activities have been held.
In Hungary, renowned experts have given presentations in the Hungarian Agricultural Museum and FAO, and WFD medals have been awarded to well-known Hungarian experts by the FAO Sub-Regional Representative.
On behalf of the Holy See, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have sent an annual message for food producers and consumers on World Food Day.
In Armenia, staff from the Ministry of Agriculture, non-governmental organizations, Armenian State Agriculture University, the donor community, international organizations, and the mass media have participated in the World Food Day ceremony. In Afghanistan, representatives of Ministries, embassies, UN agencies, International Financial Organizations, National and International NGOs and FAO staff have attended the World Food Day ceremony.
In Cyprus, special ceremonies have been organized in primary and secondary schools, where teachers explained the significance of World Food Day.
Angola celebrated WFD in 2005 through the 4th Forum on Rural Women, while in Burundi the second Vice-President planted potatoes to provide a symbolic example about food production. In Central African Republic, the President of the Republic has inaugurated a bridge at Boda to coincide with World Food Day, making the agricultural production area more accessible.
In Chad, thousands of people have attended debates, conferences and activities including theatre, films, folk dance, visits to project sites and visits by agricultural companies.
In Ghana, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has hosted a food security conference, while Namibia has run an awareness campaign through national media.
Egypt has hosted a Forum on nutrition issues. Morocco and Tunisia have held seminars and exhibitions.
The Government of Bangladesh has been involved through organizing a food festival; in China in 2005, celebrations were organized in Qujing City, where numerous ethnical minorities live, by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Government of Qujing City, with the participation of a number of senior officials of the Government.
In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, seminars have been held and visits made to various project sites. The Ministry of Agriculture of Indonesia has in the past organized a major Food Expo in Bandung, West Java, while a Farmers’ and Fishermen’s Workshop of NGOs was held in Bali.
In Pakistan, A Society Named as MAPS(Mentor Amiable Professional Society) celebrates world food day by providing food packages to poor & nee-dies and tells the importance of food to the people by organizing workshops.
In Chile, exhibitions of indigenous food products have been prepared by local communities. In Argentina, senior officials of the Government, academics, international organizations and the press have participated in the main ceremony. In Mexico in 2005, a National Campaign for a “Mexico Without Hunger” was held, with the involvement and support of civil society and students. In Cuba, producers have been able to exchange views and experiences at an agricultural fair. The media strongly support awareness campaigns on World Food Day; for example in Venezuela there has been national coverage of events.
Leket Israel – The National Food Bank will mark World Food Day with a unique countrywide picking event. Volunteers are invited to four locations throughout Israel on Friday, 18 October to pick fruits and vegetables for distribution to the needy.
For world Food Day I want to focus on a personal policy I have held to most of my life, namely eating foods that are grown locally and are in season. This practice serves several purposes. It supports local farmers, especially small farmers, and it keeps you in tune with the seasons. Furthermore, when you buy fresh food that’s in season today, you reduce greenhouse emissions, which, in turn, helps protect everyone’s food supply for tomorrow. A lot of energy is wasted trying to grow food in the wrong place or at the wrong time of year. In both Argentina and China I have been able to buy all my meat and vegetables in local markets, that sell local products. Also in both places they never sell anything that is not ready to eat right away.
This site celebrates world Food Day with some appropriate recipes.
I have taken celery root soup more or less as is. Celery root is also known as celeriac, a relation of celery grown for its bulbous roots with a celery flavor. Celery root is pretty easy to find and can be used in soups and stews much like other root vegetables.
You could also use parsley root, probably my favorite root vegetable, as a substitute. It’s bit harder to find. You can identify it because it has parsley growing from the tops of the roots.
Celery Root Soup
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 bay leaf
3 thyme sprigs
1 large or 2 small leeks, washed well and sliced
2 medium celery roots (about 1 lb/450g), peeled, cut into quarters lengthwise, and sliced crosswise
5 cups vegetable broth
3-4 celery stalks, strings removed, finely diced
1 cup bite-size pieces of country-style bread (crusts removed)
Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
Place a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of butter. When melted,
add the diced onion, the bay leaf, and the thyme sprigs. Cook until the onion is soft, without
browning. Meanwhile, prepare the leek and celery root. When the onions are
soft, add salt to taste, stir well, and add the leek and celery root. Cook, stirring now and then,
until the celery root begins to soften, about 7 minutes. Then add 5 cups vegetable broth, bring
to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until celery root is quite soft, about 20 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, blanch the diced celery stalks in salted water for 1-2 minutes (until
translucent green but still crunchy), drain, and spread on a plate to cool. Next, toss the bread
pieces with 2 teaspoons of melted butter, spread on a baking sheet, and bake until
crisp and golden, about 12 minutes.
When the soup is ready, remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf and purée in a blender. Taste and add
salt as needed. If the soup is too thick, thin with chicken stock or water.
Serve in warm bowls with the diced celery and croutons as a garnish.