In his parody of the Michael Jackson hit “Beat It”, the American satirist and singer Weird Al Yankovic has a parent urging his son to eat the food on his plate, warning that “other kids are starving in Japan”.
“Only two years ago, the soup kitchen was serving 50 meals a day. Today the number has almost doubled and, what is even more worrying, we have started receiving families with children,” says Donatella Turri, director of the Caritas
Diocese of Lucca.
The choice of foods displayed on supermarket shelves can be quite bewildering. This abundance encourages us to take it for granted that we will always be able to buy the food we want at affordable prices.
If all food loss and waste around the world could be recovered, half the world's population, or 3.5 billion people, could be fed. Yet people throw away a third of food produced globally, an issue that inspired the theme of these year's World Food Day, sustainable food systems for food security and nutrition.
Shooing off a quartet of hens that come pecking, 24-year-old Kamala Batra sits guard over a sack of coarse rice spread out on the courtyard. After small black insects slowly crawl away in the sun’s heat, she gathers it to cook for the day’s free midday meal - a pan-India government food security scheme for students.
Twenty-nine-year-old Andrzej W. and his partner lived for almost a year off of food found in the trash bin of the upscale supermarket Piotr i Pawel in Muranow, a neighbourhood near the centre of the Polish capital Warsaw. And they ate in style.
A quarter of all food calories grown for human consumption is being lost or wasted, either purposefully or otherwise, according to new estimates.