While driving on the 290 Expressway, I noticed a bright, high color screen with a phrase to drink healthy and thank a farmer. I only managed to read that it was for Bolthouse Farms, a company that supplies delicious and nutritious juices and smoothies. The concept completely ties into this year's Food and Agriculture Organization theme for World Food Day of Healthy People Depend on Healthy Food Systems. In order to create sustainable food systems, we need to work with our farmers. Farmers, local and abroad, work with the land, striving to make quality product and large quantities of produce for many homes across the world. By supporting farmers we ensure national health and food security. In a time when approximately 900 million people are undernourished, this is crucial to the continued progress of social and economic stability. Chicago alone bears the statistic that one in six people go food insecure daily. Food connects us internationally in nutritional, social and personal ways. We all share this land. Thus, when sitting at this table for nine billion, we need to stand on common ground.
And it begs the question, have you thanked a farmer lately?
Do you know the person who grew your bananas? Or the person who harvested your kale? Maybe the person who makes your strawberry preserves? Whether you go to the Farmer's Market and talk to local growers or not, you can still support farmers and land in bountiful ways!
As we commemorate World Food Day 2013, take a moment to support a farmer.
-Reduce waste, re-think that oddly chosen expiration date!
-Thank your farmer personally
-Urge large corporations like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Associated British Foods to ensure the sugar they buy is not from land grabs, or does not contribute to land grabs
-Support grocery stores and brands that promote sustainability and better land practices
You don't have to know your farmers to appreciate the work. Whether the Midwestern farmer for your raspberries, the Californian farmer for your avocados, the Brazilian farmer for your coffee, the Thai farmer for your quinoa, or the South African farmer for your sugar...
We Stand on Common Ground