Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

16-10-2021: World Food Day and how to contribute – safe food now for a healthy tomorrow

16-10-2021: World Food Day and how to contribute – safe food now for a healthy tomorrow

As a student of Food and Nutrition, I couldn’t ignore this important day that celebrates the 75th birthday of FAO (The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations).

I even have a request for everyone: to put all our efforts into a healthy and sustainable diet, avoid food waste and collaborate with the associations that fight poverty, food insecurity and climate change.

The next question is: how can we do it? There are a lot of ways, but we can start from little things.

In our houses, we can avoid buying more food than necessary, especially fresh food like fruit and vegetables, buying it little by little and using it as soon as possible to prevent the loss of vitamins and minerals.

Just a few days ago my flatmate, the guinea pig who didn’t die for my food experiments (if you’re curious, you can read here), told me that he was craving my banana and blackberries smoothie.

I went to the supermarket where I could find ripe bananas that probably would have been thrown away on offer for £0.36 (ugly to see but good to eat), and a kilogram of frozen berries for £2.30 (they are frozen as soon as they are harvested so they keep all the vitamins and they will last for other smoothies).

I already had oat milk at home (I love cow milk, but for my lactose intolerance and for my contribution to a better planet I made an oat milk oath… sorry…).

Oat for the oath

I added almonds and a mix of pumpkin, sunflower, linseed and sesame seeds to add fibre and some good fat. I know, it is not a big thing, but it’s still something, and the smoothie was very good and with no added sugar as the bananas were ripe. It was good for the environment, health and even for my wallet.

(Fun fact: I didn’t finish drinking it and I didn’t consider the presence of the linseeds… so I put it in the fridge, and the day after it was a banana and red fruit pudding!).

No, it’s not my smoothie but it was very similar.

You don’t know what to do with the leftover spinach you have in your fridge? Put it in a pan with oil, onions, salt, pepper and a couple of eggs and do a nice omelette. For other leftovers, just open a recipe website (e.g. BBCGoodFood) and type what you have – you will surely find something that appeals to you. At University College Birmingham, we have a lot of students who are studying to become chefs at the Birmingham College of Food and future nutritionists in Summer Row!

If you really have a lot of food that you are not going to cook because you’re leaving for a week, you can use the Olio website, to give it to someone who will collect it where and when you prefer, or to a food bank.

There are innumerable initiatives you can take on your own: buy sustainable or fair trade food. If you’re not vegetarian or vegan, you can give it a go, and try your own vegetarian/vegan week to help the planet. Even recycling correctly is a good contribution.

I suggest you have a look at the FAO website and, on this page, you can see how you can help to share the initiative and the ideas. I have to say that I am not personally involved with FAO, but I have obvious interests in healthy food and sustainability because I would like to have a long life, as healthy as possible, and I would like to leave a better planet Earth to whoever is going to live in it.

Have a nice World Food Day, look at this interesting video and see you for my next post!

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