Associate Editor’s Note: “Food Days” Offer Plenty of Food for Thought

Some might think of November and December, with their generously set holiday tables, as a time of “food days.” But in reality, October is the month when we observe "Food Days"—with capital letters.

World Food Day, Oct. 16, marks the anniversary of the founding of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. It’s also the date the World Food Prize—essentially, “the Nobel Prize for food”—is awarded. In addition, October is widely associated with the fall harvest. (And of course, just like the end of a special meal, the end of the month is capped off with some sweet treats.)

The spirit of Food Days runs throughout this issue of Food Insight. We begin by exploring “orphan crops,” so named because they are not major players in global trade and have tended to get little support for research. But it’s hard to overstate the role they play in our rapidly growing world.

Then IFIC Foundation President Kimberly Reed reports from Des Moines, Iowa, where the Foundation held a panel discussion on the Expo Milano 2015 theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” in conjunction with World Food Prize activities.

In a related vein, the IFIC Foundation chose October to highlight various aspects of food biotechnology, its potential, and misconceptions that surround it. In this issue, we feature an expert Q&A on the much-discussed topic of herbicide resistance.

We also get a firsthand account from the Foundation’s annual Farm Tour for RDs, held this year to coincide with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Nashville.

Finally, we pick up with part two in our series “Understanding, Evaluating, and Communicating Nutrition” with a focus on the media’s role. But we also decided to take a step back to look at science communication from a broader perspective—in particular, how it is an area of growing interest on college campuses nationwide.

I hope that as you enjoy the bounty of this autumn season, and the celebrations of the holidays to come, that you will take a moment to consider all of the people who work so hard to provide the food that sustains us and brings us together. I hope you will also keep in mind those around the world who are far less fortunate, and often uncertain where their next meal will come from.