Promoting healthier diets and efficient food systems – BusinessLine

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On requests made by the FAO Conference, the UN General Assembly adopted resolutions designating 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, May 21 as International Tea Day and September 29 as International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste. “Without healthy diets, we cannot hope to end malnutrition — and we will not eradicate hunger unless we curb food losses. By highlighting the value of fruits and vegetables, and the damage caused by loss and waste, the UN has taken a decisive step to promote fairer, greener, more efficient food systems,” said FAO Deputy Director-General for Climate and Natural Resources, Maria Helena Semedo. Other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly focused on progress and challenges related to agriculture, food security and nutrition, among other things.

Chile has been a champion of devoting a year to promote fruit and vegetables, which have well-known nutritional qualities and also contribute to the prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN and the World Health Organization recommend that each adult consume at least 400 grams of fruit and vegetables on a daily basis to prevent chronic NCDs, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity, as well as to counter micronutrient deficiencies.

The proposal for a Tea Day was led by the People’s Republic of China following the 23rd Session of the Intergovernmental Group on Tea (2018). The observance is meant to acknowledge and promote the herb’s contribution to human health, socialisation, cultural heritage, rural development and sustainable livelihoods.

Andorra and San Marino proposed the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste. An estimated 14 per cent of the world’s food is lost along the chain from the point of harvest to the retail level, and likely even more is wasted later.

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