Thousands Plan Food Day Events
Thousands of events are being planned for Food Day, the nationwide grassroots mobilization for healthier diets and improved food policies, on Oct. 24.
Grassroots events around the country will focus on issues ranging from improving diets to supporting justice for food and farm workers to developing state and local food policies to celebrating sustainably grown local produce. The events are occurring at all types of private and public venues.
“One of the best things you can do for your health is to cook and enjoy family meals made with fresh, colorful seasonal ingredients,” said chef and author Ellie Krieger, host of Healthy Appetite on the Food Network and a member of the Food Day advisory board. “Food Day is a chance to celebrate the power good food has to nourish us and bring us together.”
Some of the Food Day events being planned include:
• A celebration in Union Square in New York City, in conjunction with Grow NYC’s Greenmarket.
• A large festival in Savannah, Ga, on October 22, where organizers expect 15,000 attendees to enjoy regional food.
• Epicurious will be providing specific regional menu ideas for those interested in hosting their own Food Day parties, and will award prizes for people who raise the most money in honor of the big day via Facebook.
• Statewide Food Day activities in California are being led by the Strategic Alliance, the Prevention Institute, California Convergence and Roots of Change. They are mounting a statewide petition campaign for smarter federal food and farm policies.
• The Omaha Farmers Market and the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition will have a Food Day celebration on October 23, and will give away healthy breakfasts to about 2,000 children.
• Health departments in Rhode Island, Colorado, Los Angeles, Seattle, Philadelphia and elsewhere are spearheading efforts in their communities.
Also, Food Day organizers are encouraging families to have healthful potluck dinners with friends, and to use these gatherings as opportunities to talk informally about food and our nation’s food system. For inspiration, FoodDay.org will post a number of delicious recipes from well-known chefs and cookbook writers.
The Cooking Channel, Epicurious.com and Change.org are a few of the national sponsors that will be publicizing Food Day and participating in events.
Fruit and vegetable marketer Dole will be supporting Food Day by putting Food Day stickers on 100 million bananas, and one of the nation’s largest carrot growers, Bolthouse Farms, will be including Food Day messages on 11 million bags of carrots. The National Archives in Washington, D.C., will host a Food Day open house in conjunction with its What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? exhibit, which examines the government’s role in food policy.
Food Day’s advisory board, chaired by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), includes urban farming proponent Will Allen, author Michael Pollan, scientists Walter Willett and Kelly Brownell, Seattle Mayor Michael McGinn, former Surgeons General Richard Carmona and David Satcher, executive directors of the American Public Health Association and American Dietetic Association, chefs Dan Barber, Nora Pouillon, Barton Seaver and Alice Waters, cookbook author Nina Simonds, and others.
“All Americans will benefit from greater understanding and appreciation of food, agriculture and nutrition—spanning the food chain from farm families to family tables,” said Senator Harkin. “Participants in Food Day activities and events will be helping to promote better nutrition and health, lessen hunger and increase access to food, conserve and protect our land and water, and enhance the lives of consumers, farm families, and rural communities.”