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Food Day

Celebrating good food and encouraging good food policy.

Oct. 24 is the first annual Food Day. Modeled after Earth Day, it is initiated by the Center for Science in the Public Interest and focuses on the following objectives:

  • “Reducing diet-related disease by promoting healthy foods. The American diet is too low in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and too high in fatty meat, soft drinks, and salty packaged and restaurant foods—contributing to hundreds of thousands of premature deaths each year due to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer.
  • Supporting sustainable farms and stopping subsidies to agribusiness. Billions of federal dollars a year could be better spent helping environmentally conscious family farmers than huge agribusiness operations.
  • Expanding access to food and alleviating hunger. Far too many Americans don't know where their next meal is coming from, or have access to fresh produce in their neighborhood.
  • Reforming factory farms to protect animals and the environment. Farming of animals can and should be done without cruelty, and without degrading the quality of life in rural America.
  • Curbing junk-food marketing to kids. Food companies should not be targeting children with foods that promote tooth decay, obesity, and other health problems.”

Nutrition and health policy experts are participating, as are national organizations like The Earth Day Network, Farmers Market Coalition, Humane Society of the United States, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, and Slow Food USA, along with many city- and state-level organizations. There is a growing list of food day events around the country, including some of the following in the DC area:

In Bladensburg, the Port Towns Community Health Partnership (PTCHP) through the Port Towns Youth Council of End Time Harvest Ministries, Inc. will host a student-led debate on the topic of obesity and nutrition.

At Franklin Square, 20-30 chef-inspired food trucks will surround Franklin Square to serve sustainable, delicious food for lunch.

At the Woodrow Wilson Plaza, the DC Metro Area Dietetic Association and Capital Harvest on the Plaza will have chef demos, live entertainment, interactive student educational stations, nutritionists and other professionals available for one-on-one consultations.

At Eastern Market, food-related art from Eastern Market vendors will be showcased along with food-related demonstrations, talks with community gardeners, and music

Several locations in DC and Bethesda are screening food-related films and discussion on food polices.

You can even volunteer to plant garlic at a sustainable farm in Upper Marlboro, and half of the harvest will be donated to soup kitchens, homeless shelters and food pantries.

Of course supporting these objectives on Food Day can make a statement, but ideally we would incorporate them into our lives on a daily basis by doing things like

  • Shopping at the and other places that support local farmers and sustainably produced food
  • Incorporating more fruits and vegetables and whole grains into our diets. The production of these types of foods are much on our environment than most meat production. Eating healthy foods will most likely save you (and society) money in health care down the road too.
  • Letting your policy makers know that food policy is inportant to you – that small, sustainable farming should be encouraged and subsidies to large agribusiness is a waste of our precious tax dollars, that animals being raised for meat should be treated humanely, that people in poor communities should have access to healty, affordable food. You could use the form created by Food Day or create your own message.

You can find more information about Food Day on their website as well as a list of food-related events.

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