If you haven't heard, the first national Food Day is happening this year Monday, October 24, 2011. When I first caught wind of this earlier this year, I got pretty excited imagining block parties with long tables set up down the middle of the street, neighbors sharing healthy home-cooked foods and people coming together to eat and talk about food in our community. As the Chair of the New Haven Food Policy Council, a chef and a mother, I felt it was my duty to make a little noise about Food Day. So, we gathered a large group of leaders in our city and started to plan. Since all of us are spread thin, we tried to build on the good work already going on: The WIC offices will be doing events using the New Haven Cooks/Cocina New Haven cookbook, schools are conducting real food events and tastings, people are opening up their backyard gardens to visitors, and so much more.
Food Day is a national campaign to draw attention to and celebrate healthy, affordable foods produced in a humane, sustainable way and to fix the food system by:
· Reducing obesity and diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods
· Supporting sustainable family farms and cutting subsides to huge agribusiness
· Ending urban and rural “food deserts” by providing access to healthy foods
· Protecting the environment and farm animals by reforming factory farms
· Promoting children’s health by curbing junk-food marketing aimed at kids
· Obtaining fair wages for all workers in the food system
There are over 1500 events happening nation wide so far.
There is still time for you to get involved!
To truly change anything about our food environment, we need to change the culture of food in our communities. Hosting a pot-luck with your neighbors, sharing some delicious healthy recipes, talking to people about food justice and sustainability issues, holding a food drive at your job, signing a petition or inspiring a recipe collection at your place of worship or neighborhood organization, all of these are the small things that truly bring about change. I can attest to this personally, since a few times a week someone contacts me to say that a recipe they found on my blog is now a staple in their family, or that their child now eats more vegetables and fruits since they learned some new techniques for feeding their family from the blog or cookbook. These are small changes, one person at a time, but the cumulative effects of all of us sharing our knowledge and making small changes, really will have an impact in the long run. So, I know it's short notice, but check out the Food Day site for info and their incredible resource page for their dinner party kit, film screening kit, Food Day curriculum and so much more!
If you are in New Haven please register your event on the fooddaynh.org site or find a local event there. Get creative have fun with it help to make some change to bring about good food for everyone!
If you'd like to visit a Farm for food day find one here: localharvest.org
If you want to go fruit picking find a location here: pickyourown.org
Please share your thoughts and ideas below!