Education is a powerful tool that can change and save many people’s lives. Its impact is so strong that it can open horizons, expand our minds and even prevent us from doing harmful things that could be detrimental to our lives. For example, when it comes to food, there is a fair amount of concepts, ideas and scientific approaches that shed some light on the proper food preparation and our eating habits. Food can both be our medicine and our poison, depending on how we prepare it, cook it and consume it. Thus, learning about food safety and healthy eating could be life-saving.
Every year around 600 million people experience symptoms due to food poisoning, which leads to more than 400,000 death cases. Foodborne illnesses are a serious issue that can be limited with quality education. Knowing how to handle any food is the way to minimize the dangers of food poisoning. Separating foods and storing them correctly can prevent germs and viruses from spreading. Food can easily get contaminated if we don’t keep raw meat, seafood and eggs away from the fresh products. Also, cooking and baking at the right temperature helps kill any possible bacteria that our food might contain. It goes without saying that we have to regularly wash our hands, kitchen space, and cooking utensils when preparing food. We should also avoid using meats, fish, eggs and milk that come from unreliable sources. Ultimately, using a refrigerator for food that can go bad quickly is the way to keep the food as fresh as possible. Nonetheless, if we don’t use the food stored in the fridge for too long, it is safer to throw it away than risk food poisoning.
Education is necessary and can make a huge difference when it comes to nutrition and healthy eating habits as well. Unfortunately, obesity and malnutrition have become global problems. According to FAO, 1.9 billion people are obese or overweight, and 2 billion people suffer from malnourishment.
The reason for worldwide malnutrition and obesity are unhealthy diets. People choose products without nutritional value for several reasons, including personal beliefs, food preferences, advertisement and media influence, social surroundings as well as the available information. If we knew that a product we bought contains unhealthy fats, sugar and sodium and that these ingredients damage our health, there is a bigger chance that we will choose a healthier option next time.
Education on healthy eating can prevent chronic diseases caused by obesity. In addition, it can change the perspective on healthy choices and increase the desire to be healthier. Learning how to cook is another critical aspect because if we know how to prepare food in a delicious and healthy way, we will be more prone to prepare food by ourselves. This way, we take charge of our diet and what we consume. We can also learn about the seasonal fruits and veggies that have the most nutritional value when it is their harvest time. If we eat seasonal foods, we bring diversity into our diet and follow nature’s cycle.
As Hippocrates said, “let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food”, we should learn about food safety and healthy diets as much as possible and make the best of what food can give us.