World Food Day: Why are we calling water, food?

'Water is life, water is food. Leave no one behind' is the theme of this year's World Food Day celebrations. Photo: iStock/eyecrave productions

As we celebrate 'World Food Day' today, we are celebrating one of the most precious resources of the planet on the day - water. 'Water is life, water is food. Leave no one behind is the theme of this year's World Food Day celebration. But, is what food?

According to many health organisations, water is termed food, though it has no calories like normal food items. Food and Agricultural Organisations of the United States wrote on their official page, celebrating the day, "Water is essential to life on Earth. It covers the majority of the Earth's surface, makes up over 50% of our bodies, produces our food, and supports livelihoods. But this precious resource is not infinite, and we need to stop taking it for granted. What we eat, and how that food is produced all affect water. Together, we can take water action for food and be the change." Here are a few other interesting tidbits on water that we should know, at a time when we face a climate emergency:

  • 95% of our food is produced on land and all begins with soil and water
  • Over 80% of the world's wastewater is released into the environment without being treated
  • Global water demand for agriculture is expected to increase by 35% by 2050
  • 2.4 billion people live in countries stressed for water
  • Only 2.5% of water on Earth is freshwater
  • Poor water governance often creates conflict
  • Around 74% of all disasters from 2001 to 2018 were water-related
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