Friday, October 19, 2012

What IS Food Day?

~ Jessica S. Herwick


I was recently invited to an event at the Overbrook Environmental Education Center for their Food Day celebration on October 24th.  You might be asking yourself, ‘What the heck is food day?’.  
Well, I had to ask myself the very same question.  So I did a little detective work and discovered that Food Day is a new National Celebration and Movement, occurring annually on October 24th.

I needed to know more, so I spoke with Suzanne Weltman, the Nutrition Links Supervisor for the Penn State Cooperative Extension in Philadelphia, Jerome Shabazz, Director of the Overbrook Environmental Education Center, and a select group of my Master Gardener friends.  Add a dash of internet research and tah-dah!  Answers.  Here’s what I discovered.

About the Movement
- "Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food… to address issues as varied as health and nutrition, hunger, agricultural policy, animal welfare, and farm work justice.  The ultimate goal of Food Day is to strengthen and unify the food movement in order to improve our nation’s food policies..." (from the Food Day website, www.foodday.org).
- Food Day encourages a transformation of the American diet from over processed foods to fresh, local, healthy food. 
- This year marks the second annual Food Day, so this movement is still in it’s infancy, but has already gained a good percentage of supporters. 
- Food Day was started by the CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest).  This organization, established in 1971, functions as a strong advocate for nutrition and health, food safety, alcohol policy, and sound science. http://www.cspinet.org/

About the Events
- Events are scheduled all over the country to celebrate fresh, local foods and agricultural issues relevant to all individuals in our country. The website has a user friendly search engine that helps you locate all of the events in your area, from festivals and farmers markets to lectures, tours and open houses of facilities, there’s bound to be something for everyone.  Many events are open to school groups, or other large groups.  

I encourage all of you out there to check out what’s happening in whatever city or location you find yourself in when you read this blog. On October 24th, consider re-engaging with your diet, your nation’s policies and your neighbors - attend an event!

For more information about Food Day Events Near You Search,  Click Here

For more information about the school-day program at Overbrook EEC Click Here



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