Did you know that food safety, food security, and nutrition are linked? Almost 1 in 10 people in the world fall ill after consuming contaminated food, resulting in a total of four hundred and twenty thousand dying every year. Farm to table is a movement that promotes the use of organic and/or locally grown food. It is based on the idea that the meals we eat should come from where we live. The farm-to-table movement is an effort to support local communities and protect our environment from pollution.
The table process from farm to a table involves the process of farmers raising livestock and growing produce. Food is often vulnerable to contamination during this stage, as food is exposed to harsh weather, pests, and plant diseases. The farming process begins with harvesting crops which are then turned into consumable products. It is also washed, sorted, or turned into something else (milk to cheese). Sanitation is important during this process as to ensure that health guidelines are met, and no food is wasted. Next, processed food is taken to a distribution center, which is far from the original source of origin. The proper transportation of food is critical as food is predisposed to spoilage and improper refrigeration can increase pathogen risk. Finally, is the dinner table, which is the last step, of preparing bought food to serve at home.
Over 20 billion pounds of produce is wasted on farms each year, with US $110 billion dollars lost each year in medical expenses and productivity from unsafe food.
Unsafe food contains foodborne bacteria, viruses, chemical substances, or parasites that enter the body through contaminated food. Chemical substances can lead to long-term effects like cancer, long-lasting disability, or death. Bacteria like salmonella or enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli are some of the most common foodborne pathogens that afflict millions of people annually. Symptoms of these bacteria can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Outbreaks of these bacteria can be traced back to poultry, eggs, and other animal products. The products are carriers and can result in 125,000 deaths every year.
In celebration of World Food Safety Day, which is celebrated every June 7th, the theme this year was ‘Safer Food, Better Health’ emphasizing the need to prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to human health, agriculture, sustainable development, market access, tourism, and food safety. Safe food means nutritional benefits for both mental and social well-being.
Read more from our sources below!
World Health Organization – Food Safety
PAHO – World Food Safety Day 2022
Mindseteco – Farm to Table Process: Tracking Food Through the Food Industry 
Altametrics – The Farm to Table Movement- It’s a Whole New Way of Eating.