World Food Safety Day

Day 158 – The first World Food Day was celebrated on October 16, 1981. After acknowledging the global burden of food-borne diseases on individuals of all ages, the United Nations General Assembly then proclaimed in 2018 that every year, June 7th would be celebrated as World Food Safety Day.

“According to the World Health Organization (WHO), worldwide, unsafe food causes approximately 600 million cases of food-borne diseases and 420,000 deaths annually. Unsafe food is a serious threat to human health and economies. It is mostly the marginalized and vulnerable people, especially women and young children, migrants, and populations affected by conflict, who bear the brunt of it all. Food is the focal point for our health, energy, and our well-being. We often take for granted that all the food we eat is safe. But, in a progressively interconnected world where food value chains are constantly growing longer, there is a need for robust food-related standards and regulations to keep us safe.”

Food safety is a shared responsibility between governments, producers and consumers.  Everyone has a role to play from farm to table to ensure the food we consume is safe and healthy. Through the World Food Safety Day, WHO works to mainstream food safety in the public agenda and reduce the burden of food-borne diseases globally. Food safety is everyone’s business.

Calls to action

1 – Ensure it’s safe – Government must ensure safe and nutritious food for all.

2 – Grow it safe – Agriculture and food producers need to adopt good practices.

3 – Keep it safe – Business operators must make sure food is safe.

4 – Know what’s safe – Consumers need to learn about safe and healthy food.

5 – Team up for food safety – Work together for safe food and good health.

Be thankful for access to safe food and fight for those that do not. Everyone should be able to eat without fear of getting sick.

Tomorrow, preserving and protecting our oceans.

Exporting plastic waste: We need to stop passing the buck

Day 97 – Today is World Health Day. The focus of this year’s World Health Day is building a fairer, healthier world.

“As COVID-19 has highlighted, some people are able to live healthier lives and have better access to health services than others – entirely due to the conditions in which they are born, grow, live, work and age.

All over the world, some groups struggle to make ends meet with little daily income, have poorer housing conditions and education, fewer employment opportunities, experience greater gender inequality, and have little or no access to safe environments, clean water and air, food security and health services. This leads to unnecessary suffering, avoidable illness, and premature death. And it harms our societies and economies.” – World Health Organization

The exporting of our plastic waste to other countries is a perfect example of the unfairness that exists. The U.S. is sending plastic waste to poor countries that really do not have the infrastructure to effectively process it for recycling. This waste ends up causing major harm to the environment, economy, and health of the residents.

Photo credit –

The U.S. used to sell extra recyclables to China. However, the high contamination rates led China to the ban of importing recyclables in 2018. Now, the U.S. along with other industrial countries are sending their contaminated recyclables to countries like Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia. Unfortunately, these countries are not able to handle the influx of plastic waste. A lot of this waste ends up in landfills, the oceans or burned, creating toxic fumes.

This attitude of “Not in my backyard” (NIMBY), needs to stop. We can not continue to avoid the plastic waste problem by sending it to someone else to worry about it. The U.S. and all the other countries exporting their plastic waste, need to address the issue, at home.

So, what can we do?

  1. Adopt the attitude, “my waste, my responsibility”
  2. Support plastic reduction plans in your community.
  3. Buy in bulk with reusable containers.
  4. Choose renewable packaging options instead of plastic.
  5. Reduce unnecessary consumption.

We need to work toward ending NIMBYism. The buck needs to stop with us.

Tomorrow, reclaiming building material.