On World Food Day, Slow Food calls for the greening of agriculture

16 Oct 2017 | English

To commemorate World Food Day on October 16th 2017, Slow Food is appealing to political and economic policymakers as well as consumers, to put an end to the highly industrialized food system. It exploits the Earth’s natural resources and leads to the overproduction and waste of foodstuffs in the Global North, while millions of people worldwide are starving. Only an environmentally-sustainable farming sector which relies on diversity and which produces food tailored to the local environment can safeguard the nutrition of a growing global population.

Since October, the Slow Food campaign, “Menu For Change” has been showing concrete solutions for a more sustainable day-to-day consumption. To this end, World Food Day will mark the start of the campaign’s first participative phase, the “Eat Local Challenge“. Across the world, people are being called on to go three weeks eating exclusively local, seasonal foodstuffs made by small-scale producers, and to share their recipes and experiences. Since today more than 2500 people have registered to the Eat Local Challenge. The top five participating countries are the USA, Italy, Brazil, France and Australia.

A highly industrialized food system, which is exacerbating the effects climate change, exploiting natural resources, polluting and overfishing our oceans and harming biodiversity: that is the central challenge threatening the food and nutrition security of nutrition for an ever-growing global population. On World Food Day, Slow Food is inviting politicians and economists to finally put a stop to this demonstrably exploitative system. It is imperative to reset the political watch immediately, without delay. The only way to find a positive way forward out of this is with a bio-sustainable farming industry, which promotes small rural structures, reconstructs local manufacturing facilities and preserves diversity. That will ensure that people have access to both food and jobs in the years to come.

Such a system reform in food production is only possible if politicians approach it with the right mind-set and are consistent in their actions. The future of our grandchildren must be at the top of the political agenda. Pressing nutritional issues must be addressed in their entirety, and across all government ministries. Effective guidelines must be attributed to the use of pesticides, herbicides and insecticides, to establish clear, explicit limits, and we must reallocate misdirected subsidies.

In the Western world the farming industry is the most subsidized sector of the economy. This financial support does not make the farming industry more ecological, however. Instead, it goes into vast arable farms and non-agricultural investors who own large amounts of land. As long as the future of the farming and nutritional industries is in the hands of these stakeholders, the security of nutrition will become more and more unstable. It ruins small farmers, damages the environment and the animals that inhabit it, and produces surpluses that end up in bins or exported to other countries. Abroad, it is demolishing local markets.

Around a third of the food produced worldwide is never consumed, while over 800 million people are undernourished or malnourished. Every consumer shares in the responsibility for this ecological and ethical scandal. Through our daily purchases, we have influence over which food culture is preserved.


World Food Day: In 1979, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) proclaimed that October 16th as World Food Day. The commemorative day is intended to draw attention to the fact that hundreds of millions of people around the world still suffer from malnutrition.

For further information please contact:

Slow Food International Press Office

Paola Nano, Giulia Capaldi

[email protected] –Twitter: @SlowFoodPress

Slow Food is a global grassroots organization that envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet. Slow Food involves over a million activists, chefs, experts, youth, farmers, fishers and academics in over 160 countries. Among them, a network of around 100,000 Slow Food members are linked to 1,500 local chapters worldwide, contributing through their membership fee, as well as the events and campaigns they organize. As part of the network, more than 2,400 Terra Madre food communities practice small-scale and sustainable production of quality food around the world.

Change the world through food

Learn how you can restore ecosystems, communities and your own health with our RegenerAction Toolkit.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Full name
Privacy Policy