World Food Day focus is on efforts to end food insecurity and hunger

A screening of films focused on food insecurity brought the topic into the spotlight on World Food Day, Oct. 16, 2018.

“Food insecurity is a problem that affects anyone, especially students,” said Kiruba Krishnaswamy, assistant professor of Bioengineering and Food Science at MU. Many other professors shared with students during the presentation.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations highlights World Food Day each year, each with a special theme. This year the theme was: “Our actions are our future: a Zero Hunger world by 2030 is possible.”

To help share this theme, the MU Food Science Program sponsored the screening encompassing many of the food related challenges we currently face. Some of the titles included in the screening were, “Collards in the Cafeteria” and “The Food System at the U.S. Mexico Border.” Around 70 students attended the event and were able to ask questions to professors in the Food Science Program and listen to a presentation given by Krishnaswamy.

Yanni Bullock, a graduate student under the direction of Ingolf Gruen, MU associate professor of Food Science, attended the event and saw the insight it gave to the students who were there.

“It is important for us to learn how to utilize the food that we are wasting and to enhance our current food products, so we can give it to those in need,” Bullock said.

The World Food Day is celebrated across the globe, with ceremonies in Rome, Mexico City, Barcelona, among others.

As the population of the world continues to grow and change, problems are starting to become more common. Over 820 million people are suffering chronic undernourishment, according to the FAO 2018 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report.

Food waste, rural poverty, and malnutrition were discussed at the event.

“Even as a food scientist myself, I wasn’t aware of some of the issues that were brought up, so this event is crucial to the awareness of this issue,” Bullock said.

On the MU campus, students can make a difference by donating to Tiger Pantry, the university food pantry.

“I’ve just seen the resources available from the faculty and staff, and it is amazing,” said Krishnaswamy. “With the proper direction, drive, and motivation it can really make a big impact to us and the whole world.”

The FAO encourages people to not waste food, advocate for food insecurity, and embrace a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. The next World Food Day will be Oct. 16, 2019.

Adriene Aubuchon

About the Author Adriene Aubuchon

My passion for the field of agriculture started in my small hometown of Owensville, Missouri. I grew up raising Simmental cattle along with showing market steers and Boer meat goats. This love flourished more when I joined my local 4-H and eventually the National FFA Organization. Even from a young age, I learned from my farm, parents and the world around me that agriculture was something I desired to be involved with. This childhood adoration has evolved into a passionate pursuit to advocate for and invest in the industry that I love so dearly. I have a passion for telling the story of agriculture everywhere I go, and plan to continue to do that throughout my lifetime. I am so excited to write for the CAFNR Corner Post this semester!