On World Food Day, we would like to highlight a few facts:
- Almost 690 million people suffer from hunger and malnutrition, 10 million more than in 2019.
- The COVID-19 pandemic could add between 83 and 132 million people to this figure, depending on the prospect of economic growth.
- More than 2 billion people do not have regular access to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food
- Today only nine plant species represent 66% of the total agricultural production, despite the fact that there are at least 30 000 edible plants.
- Poverty is the main cause of hunger. The causes of poverty include poor people's lack of resources, extremely unequal income distribution in the world, and within specific countries, conflict, and hunger itself.
- The developmental, economic, social, and medical implications of the global burden of malnutrition are serious and lasting, for individuals and their families, communities, and countries.
- Small farmers, herders, and fishermen produce about 70 percent of the global food supply, yet they are especially vulnerable to food insecurity - poverty and hunger are most acute among rural populations.
These data reflect a situation that is worsening day by day as a result of a system that prioritizes the profit of a few and deepens the inequitable distribution of resources, which promotes unsustainable ways of feeding that not only produce effects on the malnutrition of people but also affect the planet.
The continued increase in hunger since 2014, together with increasing obesity, clearly indicates the need to accelerate and intensify action to strengthen food systems and protect people's livelihoods. We need to promote sustainable ways of producing and consuming food. We need to grow a variety of foods to nourish people and preserve the planet. Reversing this situation implies changes on a large scale, however, we must also remember that becoming aware of what we eat, learning about the benefits of food and how it can be substituted in a positive way involves us all.