When you hear the word "celebrate," does your mind wander toward, "Hmmm, I wonder what food will be served at the festivities?" I know mine does! That's part of the point of Food Day -- to think about food and to "eat real, America!"
No matter who you are or where you come from, you share a common bond with people around the country you've never met before. Students and workers, young and old, city-dwellers or suburbanites, we all need food to survive and thrive.
Food Day 2011 is being set aside as a day to help people become aware of food -- safe, healthy and affordable food. In other words, it sends the message that "it's time to eat real, America!" The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) organizes this event and also makes a push toward supporting sustainable, humane farming and fair trading conditions. The organization is a nonprofit watchdog group that fights for food labeling, better nutrition and safer food.
Real food meals are built on or around whole grains, vegetables and fruit. They're cooked at home and draw families together. Many people rely on convenience food and unhealthy food in general for their meals. That might seem like a good idea, but that translates to processed foods high in salt, sugar and fat, with not much nutritional value. We all eat convenience food or junk food from time to time, but it shouldn't be a replacement for everyday, healthy meals.
Unhealthy food leads to chronic illness and obesity. Through community efforts around the country, Food Day hopes to bring people together to learn about the benefits of eating healthy, locally grown, organic foods. What better way for you and your kids to learn more about beginning and maintaining a healthy way of eating… for life!
What's on the menu?
Not only is it the goal of Food Day to help make people aware of healthy foods and to work toward transforming the American diet, but food policies are part of the plan, as well.
The principles of Food Day include the following:
Reduce diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy food
Support sustainable farms and limit subsidies to big agribusiness
Expand access to food and alleviate hunger
Protect the environment and animals by reforming factory farms
Promote health by curbing junk-food marketing to kids
Support fair conditions for food and farm workers
Join Food Day partners that include famous chefs and restaurants, major food companies, professional associations and average citizens to help bring awareness to your community.
How will you celebrate the day?
There are thousands of events scheduled around the country to talk about our food system and our diets. You can join one in your area, or you can plan your own activity. Whether you coordinate a potluck dinner with your neighbors or a fun, educational event at your child's elementary school, the choice is yours!
Visit Food Day for a number of resources available to you. From help finding events in your area to Food Day 2011 recipe ideas to materials for a school curriculum (there are even links to webinars and conference calls you can sit in on), you'll find what you need to help support your community.
Even though Food Day is celebrated on Oct. 24, it's really a year-round event. Good nutrition, good health and good policies are something to celebrate every day!
Watch: Morgan Spurlock talks about Food Day
Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock explains why you should participate in Food Day.