Food is one of the necessities in our lives. However, do we truly appreciate our food that we have on our dining table? In most cases, we have taken food for granted as food waste is among the highest waste generated in Malaysia, with about 31% to 45% of the total volume waste generated every day. It is time for us to reflect on how we treat our food! The World Food Day is celebrated on 16th October every year to raise awareness about appreciating the food we have daily. This event is founded by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a specialized agency of the United Nations that is committed to defeat global hunger. So, what do we need to do and know about the World Food Day? Let's first look into the theme of this event! What is The Theme of the World Food Day? Photo credit to F.A.O. official website Here's the theme of the World Food Day: Grow, Nourish, Sustain.Together. All of us have to put in our effort to grow\u00a0a variety of food to nourish\u00a0the population and sustain the planet\u00a0together consistently, especially during this uncertain time. Looking deeper into the growing process, nearly 800 million people are family farmers. They produce about 80% of the world\u2019s food and they are constantly working to improve their methods. Therefore, they need innovative technologies to help them to transform the ways of producing and consuming food. Besides, we also need to sustain the access toward safe and nutritious food. All of us should have regular access to affordable, healthy diets. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, the access to food has become more challenging for the vulnerable families with the rising food prices and shortage of income. So, how can we and our children contribute to the World Food Day to help the world to end the food crisis? As parents, we need to raise awareness about how food is produced and get our children to appreciate what they have daily. Read on to find out what our children need to be aware of the food they consume every day. Don't miss out how you can nourish your children with the daily diet you feed them too. What do Our Children need to Know About Food? #1: Food ingredients travel a long way before it reaches the dining table. Photo credit to Unsplash Every meal that we are having now requires continuous effort from the agriculture community. Therefore, we should get our children to be aware of how food is produced. How can we help our children to build the awareness then? Let's use tomato as an example! First, tell your children that in order to get a tomato, the farmers need to grow the tomato trees and take good care of them with water and fertilizer. When the tomatoes are ripe, the farmers will then pick and send the tomatoes to the markets and supermarkets to be sold. They also send some of the tomatoes to the factories to make tomato sauces and other food products. Sometimes, the farmers might also need the lorry drivers to send their tomatoes to these places too! Furthermore, we should not miss the workers in the markets and supermarkets that help to pack the tomatoes for selling. Are there more unsung food heroes? Of course, there are! When we are dining out, the chefs and hawkers are our food heroes. They spend their time in preparing the ingredients so that they can serve us with delicious food! With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we even have the food delivery riders to deliver us warm food regardless of the weather. So, what can we do to show our appreciation to these food heroes? It's as simple as saying 'Thank You' to these food heroes for their services. Respect their hard work of bringing food to our plates and the resources used to produce what we eat by wasting less food. #2: We need to appreciate food! Photo credit to Unsplash Do you know that while we are having food waste every day, 2 billion people around the world are not having enough nutritious food? To make the situation worse, more than 113 million people are experiencing acute hunger. They are urgently in need of food, nutrition and livelihood. So, let's educate our children to waste less food in their daily lives. Always remind them to take the portions that they can finish and try their best to have zero food waste for every meal. While educating our children on the need to reduce food waste, it is also important to talk about food loss too. What is food loss then? Food loss happens when uneaten or spoiled food gets thrown in the bin or when the farmers lack facilities to store food properly. Bad packaging and unsuitable transportation also cause food to spoil fast. In addition, the sudden breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic also disrupts the distribution of the food as what happened in Cameron Highland farms around March 2020. After explaining about food loss, we should get our children to brainstorm about the ways to reduce food loss. One of the effective ways to reduce food loss is to support the local fresh food, especially seasonal food. Bring your children along to the farmer's markets to buy local products from the smallholder farmers. Then, you should also introduce some ways to store uneaten food properly. This can avoid wasting perfectly good food while using food for other meals. (p.s.) Good news from the Cameron Highland farmers: The non-governmental organisations and politicians had purchased the vegetables from their farms to donate to the needy. Read the original article here. #3:We can be food heroes too! Photo credit to The Star Digital Do you have some outdoor space in your house? If so, let's get your children to grow some vegetables. You can first get your children to choose the vegetables that they wish to grow. Some of the vegetables that you can grow easily are okra, mushrooms, and lettuce. Your children will certainly enjoy themselves through the process of growing, maintaining and harvesting the vegetables. Besides learning how food is produced, your children will also learn to appreciate things in life. By growing your own vegetables, you can not only save a lot in your monthly food expenses, you can also ensure that the vegetables that you are feeding your children are free from pesticides and colouring. All Of Us Deserve Good Food Every Day As we celebrate the World Food Day, we should be the one who brings positive change to the food community. Whenever sectors you are in, you can equally contribute to healthier and more regular access to healthier food. As for our children, we should encourage them to be creative and innovative in the process of growing food. In the future, they can develop digital tools and technologies for the food heroes so that the farmers can use natural resources more carefully and the distributors and factories can be more efficient. All of us can help to sustain a healthier planet by having healthier food option and wasting less food daily.