Posted on Thu, October 11, 2012 by Nathan Leamy
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Food Day, a nationwide celebration and movement toward more healthy, affordable, and sustainable food, is around the corner. Food Day is October 24 every year, and is driven by a diverse coalition of national organizations and food movement leaders, including Slow Food USA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Farmers Market Coalition, and many others.
In its second year, Food Day will be observed with more than 2,000 events all around the country, including festivals in Baltimore, New York City, and Savannah, and a conference on The Future of Food: 2050 at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Thousands of schools in Boston, Detroit, Chicago, and other cities will celebrate Food Day with a special meal; the city of Madison, WI, will launch its new food policy council; and numerous Slow Food chapters around the country will participate.
So, what will happen on and around October 24? Rodale Institute is organizing a Harvest Festival featuring organic food, with proceeds going to the Heritage Breed Livestock program. The Denver Botanical Gardens will hold a day-long festival with cooking classes, film screenings, and an address by Mayor Michael Hancock. Slow Food Denver is one of the participating community partners. Perhaps the biggest Food Day event will be a massive festival in Savannah, GA, where 10,000 people are expected to enjoy food, music, and exhibitors.
The City of New York has launched the Big Apple Crunch contest, an attempt to set the world record for the “Most Participants in an Apple-Crunching Event” and raise awareness about local apple growers and eating healthy every day. In D.C., organizers have planned a conference, “Chefs as Catalysts for Change”, to reflect on chefs’ power to guide public palates and affect food trends.
Here is a preview of how Slow Food chapters are getting involved: Slow Food Treasure Coast in Florida is organizing a meeting with local candidates on their views on a variety of local food issues; Slow Food Philadelphia, inspired by Food Day and in collaboration Les Dames d’Escoffier, is hosting a Breadbasket event to highlight the food-related groups in the region and serve the food from some of the best women chefs.
Slow Food Richmond, VA, has helped to organize and coordinate a Food Day subcommittee on hunger, and is involved in events at Virginia Commonwealth University, farmers markets, in public schools, and in workplaces. And Slow Food Kansas City is doing an “Apple Share” on Food Day, handing out free apples downtown donated by local producers.
What can Slow Food members do on Food Day? Consider hosting an event, whether it is a private dinner using the Food Day celebrity chefs’ cookbook or a movie screening, and post it on the interactive map on FoodDay.org. Or check for the events that are scheduled near you. For those who won’t be able to make it to a Food Day event in person, the Eat Real Quiz provides an easy way to get involved. The quiz scores your diet’s impact on health, environment, and farm animals. The results can be shared on Twitter and Facebook (#FoodDay2012).
There are problems in America’s food supply that need fixing, and Food Day seeks to inspire people to work together to solve them. For some people, that might mean joining a local food policy council, while others might choose to make changes for themselves and their families at the dinner table. No matter how you decide to mark the occasion, the key is that you and your community celebrate Food Day with good, clean, and fair food and contribute to an ever-widening circle of awareness and action!
Update: LeanWagon is offering healthy eating wellness workshops on Food Day with proceeds to benefit Slow Food USA