World Food Day 2007: The Right to Food

Note to readers:  I often think I should subtitle many of my posts "explorations and confessions of a novice" because absolute beginner is my competence rating for many topics that I'm interested in, if not enthusiastic or passionate about.  The following post is a perfect example of an issue about which I am consciously ignorant , but would like to understand and act upon.


If you are a Dietitians of Canada (DC) member, you probably received an email earlier this week with a news release  about World Food Day, which was October 16th. 

I admit until this past year I hadn't given World Food Day much more than a passing thought.  As a *clinical* dietitian working in an acute care hospital, I  felt the annual observance highlighted important issues but didn't have direct relevance to my practice.  After all, I'm  occupied with nutrition support, dietetic intern education and patient food service issues as opposed to population or global hunger problems.  But Dr. Elaine Power's statement in the DC news release reminded me:

“Registered dietitians have a role to advocate for social policies that address disparities and inequalities affecting the health of Canadian families.”

The personal message I take from this: think beyond the hospital walls.  And I really don't have to expand my world-view very far.  Extending my thoughts just a few blocks northeast from where I am sitting and typing brings me to a neighbourhood of extreme poverty and food insecurity, Vancouver's DTES, which  you may have heard described as the "poorest postal code in Canada."

This month,  as I work through the Continuing Competence Program (a requirement of my College),  I've decided to include in my Professional Development Plan learning about global food security issues, including defining my role as an advocate for social change.  Here are are the first learning resources I will be consulting:

DC's position papers

Community Food Security 
Individual and Household Food Insecurity in Canada  & Executive Summary

Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations

World Food Day 2007
The Right to Food Virtual Library