FAO: climate actions we can all take for #ZeroHunger World

With extreme changes in temperature, the impact of climate change on our planet and on our lives can’t go unnoticed. World hunger is on the rise and the leading causes are: climate variability and extremes. Unpredictable and harsh conditions are making it harder to produce the food we need for a growing population but we are still in time to act! We need to tackle climate change so everyone, everywhere can have access to enough nutritious and safe food. This is where every individual has the power to make a difference.

Here are 5 climate actions YOU can take to contribute to ending hunger in a changing climate:

1. Adopt a more sustainable and diverse diet

Once a week, try eating an all-veggie meal (including pulses like lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas) instead of a meat one. More natural resources are used to produce meat, especially water. Millions of acres of rainforest are also slashed and burned to turn land into grass pastures for livestock. While diversifying your diet you might discover ‘ancient’ grains like quinoa. For example, there are over 200 varieties of quinoa, all suited to diverse climates!

2. Reduce your food waste

Every year we are wasting a third of all the food we produce. This means we are also wasting the resources (such as water, labour, transport) that went into producing it! When shopping, buy only what you need by making a shopping list and creating meal plans to avoid those impulse buys. It can’t be left unsaid that we need to take care in loving our leftovers too. They could easily be thrown in the bin but why not freeze them for later, or use them as an ingredient in another meal? Also, understand your food labelling as there is a big difference between “best before” and “use by” dates. Lastly, show some love to the ‘ugly’ fruits and vegetables out there that might otherwise be wasted just because they are not perfect on the outside. Don’t be fooled, they taste just as good!

Without soils and water, we wouldn’t be able to produce our food, we can’t take them for granted! However, some types of food need less resources than others. For example, 1kg of lentils need 1 250 litres to grow compared to 1kg of beef which needs 13 000 litres!

3. Use less water

Water is the basic ingredient of life and we can’t produce our food without it. While it’s important that farmers learn to use less water to grow food, you can also preserve water by reducing food waste. When you throw away your food, you are wasting the water resources that went into producing it. For example, it takes 50 litres of water to produce one orange! You can also waste less water by taking a shower instead of a bath, and turning off the water while brushing your teeth.

4. Keep our soils and water clean

Some household waste is potentially hazardous and should never be thrown in a regular rubbish bin. Items such as batteries, paints, mobile phones, medicine, chemicals, fertilizers, ink cartridges, etc. can seep into our soils and water supply, damaging the natural resources that produce our food. And don’t forget plastic! It is estimated that one-third of all the plastic produced globally ends up in our soils. Reduce your use of plastic to keep our soils clean.

5. Support your local producers

Our farmers are the hardest hit by climate change and need our support more than ever. By buying local produce, you support family farmers and small businesses in your community. You also help fight pollution, by reducing delivery distances for trucks and other vehicles.
Climate change is putting the livelihoods of millions of farmers at risk. Without them, we wouldn’t have the food on our plates, they are our #ZeroHunger heroes and need our support.

Food security and climate change are interconnected. The choices we make today are vital for a secure future of food. The resources we use to produce our food are becoming more precious than ever before in this changing climate. We can all take climate action while respecting the food that is becoming ever more challenging to produce.

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