Food Day Shoots for Thousands of Events in Second Year
Food Festivals, Soda Protests, School Participation, and a U.S. Capitol Conference on the Future of Food Among Highlights
Organizers of Food Day are anticipating thousands of events big and small for the nationwide celebration and movement toward healthy, sustainable, and affordable food going into its second year. Even though Food Day is more than a month away there are nearly 700 events tagged on an interactive map at FoodDay.org and hundreds more in the works. Food movement leaders say that Food Day 2012 is on track to top the 2,300 events held to celebrate the occasion in 2011.
In Massachusetts, 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. Several mayors intend to participate in Food Day events, as are Governor Deval Patrick and Food Day advisory board member Representative Jim McGovern.
In Pennsylvania, the pioneering Rodale Institute will hold a Harvest Festival on October 20, featuring great organic food and with proceeds going to the Institute’s Heritage Breed Livestock program.
In Denver, the Denver Botanical Gardens, along with Denver Urban Gardens and other community partners, and with the support of Chipotle, will hold a free all-day festival with hands-on cooking demos for adults and kids, film screenings, and an address by Mayor Michael B. Hancock.
Perhaps the biggest Food Day event will be the massive festival slated for Savannah, GA, where some 10,000 are expected on October 28 to enjoy food, music, and exhibitors at the city's Daffin Park.
"Our focus is on bringing the message of Food Day to families and youth in particular," said Rene Teran, publisher of Well FED Savannah magazine, which is sponsoring the festival. "Through the cooperation of the entire county's public school system, several colleges and universities, and our own advisory board of nearly two dozen individuals representing their own organizations or businesses, we will be offering something for all members of the family. All of this is made possible through the continued development of close partnerships between various local entities that share the five priorities of Food Day."
For its part, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the nonprofit group that is providing national coordination for Food Day, is encouraging groups of young people to hold "Pour One Out" events, where participants dump out cans or bottles of sugary soda. The group is also convening a conference on the future of food, which will be held at the United States Capitol Visitor Center. Hosted by Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME), the Future of Food conferencewill ask leading thinkers on nutrition, agriculture, and economics to forecast what the food system might look like by the year 2050.
"The celebratory aspect of Food Day will help bring people in, but we want people to go away from Food Day events inspired about how they can change their diets for the better or how they can organize to solve food-related problems in their communities," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "It's a great opportunity for legislators, mayors, health departments, and governors to announce new initiatives increasing citizens' access to healthy, affordable food."
Food Day is led by an advisory board that includes some of the most prominent thought leaders in the food world, including author Michael Pollan; physicians Caldwell Esselstyn, Michael Roizen, and David Satcher; nutrition authorities Walter Willett, Kelly Brownell, and Marion Nestle; filmmakers Morgan Spurlock and Laurie David; chefs such as Dan Barber and Alice Waters; and authors and television hosts Ellie Krieger and Daphne Oz. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) are honorary co-chairs.
National organizations participating in Food Day include the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), Chefs Collaborative, the Farmers Market Coalition, the Humane Society of the United States, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, and the campus-based Real Food Challenge.
Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at]cspinet.org) or Ariana Stone (astone[at]cspinet.org).