One week from today – Wednesday, October 24th – marks the second annual celebration of Food Day. Here at Integrative Nutrition, we are proud to be a Food Day partner - and to encourage our community to get involved and eat real! Here is some background on the event - as well as suggestions for how you can get involved - from Food Day Campaign Manager, Lilia Smelkova.
Food Day is an annual, nationwide celebration and a movement towards more healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food. This year, there are more than 2,000 Food Day events all around the country, including festivals in Baltimore, New York City, and Savannah, and a conference on “The Future of Food: 2050” in Washington, DC.
The goal of Food Day is to bring together organizations and individuals working on diverse issues such as hunger, nutrition, agriculture policy, animal welfare, and farmworker justice. This year, we've identified five key priorities:
- Promote safer, healthier diets
- Support sustainable and organic farms
- Reduce hunger
- Reform factory farms to protect the environment
- Support fair working conditions for food and farm workers
Curious what kind of events might going on near you?
The Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania will hold a Harvest Festival, featuring organic food, with proceeds going to the Institute’s Heritage Breed Livestock program. In Denver, the Botanical Gardens will host hands-on cooking demonstrations, film screenings, and an address by Mayor Michael B. Hancock. Perhaps the biggest Food Day event will be in Savannah, where some 10,000 are expected to enjoy food, music, and exhibitors at the city's Daffin Park.
Food Day will be also celebrated on more than 200 campuses and in thousands of schools. In Massachusetts alone, more than 200 school nutrition directors in 45 school districts are committed to participate in Food Day and will challenge students to "Eat Real" on October 24.
For those who won’t be able to make it to a Food Day event in person, the Eat Real Quiz is an easy way to learn about the impact of diet on our health, the environment, and farm animals. Families can also participate by rediscovering cooking together, and by consuming healthful and locally grown produce. Check out these free, healthy Food Day recipes by celebrity chefs to get some dinner ideas!
And remember, Food Day is also about a shift in our personal mindsets. Anyone can celebrate through simple, solitary acts of personal responsibility, such as foregoing soda and other sugar-based drinks or trading fast food for a healthy, brown-bag lunch.
Food Day is backed by over 80 Advisory Board members and co-chaired by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). Participants include prominent physicians Caldwell Esselstyn, Michael Roizen and David Satcher; nutrition authorities Walter Willett, Kelly Brownell and Marion Nestle; filmmaker Morgan Spurlock; and cookbook author and Food Network host Ellie Krieger.