The 29th of September every year is chosen as the International Day for Awareness of Food Loss and Waste by the United Nations- General Assembly at meeting No. (74) for the year 2019. Its purpose is that the loss and waste of food is more than ever. Therefore, there is a need to increase awareness around the world to solve this problem.
According to United Nations statistics, around the world, about one third (33%) of all food produced is lost and wasted, with up to 14% of food produced between harvest and retail trade globally lost. In addition, 17% of the total world food production is wasted (11% in households, 5% in food services, and 2% in retail trade).
Because of this amount of loss and waste, the percentage of cases of poverty, hunger and malnutrition has increased, and therefore the choice of this International Day is to reduce and minimize the spread of food loss and waste across the world.
In this context, and with the aim of educating students and community members and to minimize food loss and waste, the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at Cihan University-Erbil celebrated the International Day for Awareness of Food Loss and Waste by organizing an event under the title (Let’s Stop Food Loss and Waste for Humans, for planet earth) on Wednesday 29-9-2021.
In this international event, which was held in the VIP hall at Cihan University-Erbil and in the presence of Prof. Dr. Amjad Sabir Al-Delawi, President of Cihan University-Erbil, a number of head of departments, university faculty members, food and nutrition experts and a number of students. The head of the Nutrition and Dietetics Department, Dr. Salih Mustafa Salih Zebari, welcomed the distinguished attendees and he presented a seminar entitled Food Loss and Waste: Challenges and Opportunities. Then Dr. Behnaz Shaherkhi Sahneh (Lecturer from the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics) presented a seminar entitled Food Waste Management to Fight Hunger.
In this event, emphasis was focused on preserving food and not losing and wasting it in the different stages from the field to the table so that we can reduce this phenomenon for the sake of a sustainable agricultural system and a healthy environment for humans and the planet.
At the end of the event, the idea of establishing a food bank at Cihan University – Erbil was proposed by the Head of the Nutrition and Dietetics Department, Dr. Salih Mustafa Salih, in order to reduce food loss and waste and combat hunger and to secure and provide healthy food and feed the people in need with the aim of helping those who are suffering from hunger.