Food Day - it's time to Eat Real, America!

The upcoming Food Day, October 24th, 2011, is feeling like the first Earth Day in 1970, when people who were frustrated by lack of action finally had a forum to express their concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes and air in the US.  Similarly, Food Day will be an opportunity for food activists and impassioned citizens to voice our concerns about the current industrial food system. “It’s time to eat real, America. On October 24, 2011—and on the days and weeks before and after—thousands of Americans will gather in schools, college campuses, farmers markets, City Halls and state capitals to talk about what’s right and wrong with our diets and whole food system and how to fix them,” says the Food Day organizers.

That first Earth Day 1970 gathered 20 million participants – many at colleges, high schools and elementary schools around the country. I hope we can compete! The frustration that rallied so many people for the first Earth Day is now being felt by the moms, students, health workers, parents, teachers, community organizers, local officials, chefs, school lunch providers and eaters around the country about our food system – now we can gather together on Food Day to unite our voices!

Food Day was created by the Center for Science in the Public Interest and is people-powered (they are not accepting funding from government or corporations) by an impressive group of individuals and organizations. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) are the Honorary Co-Chairs and the advisory board is large and varied, including people from all different food focuses – anti-hunger, animal welfare, health, education, farmers' markets, sustainable farming and more.

Food Day events are also varied – you can gather together at a planned event which you can find on the Food Day map, or you can participate by simply having dinner or potluck with your family and friends, talking about the importance of the day. You can easily pick one or all six of the Food Day topics to cover over dinner:

Food Day is committed to:

  • Reduce diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods
  • Support sustainable farms & limit subsidies to big agribusiness
  • Expand access to food and alleviate hunger
  • Protect the environment & animals by reforming factory farms
  • Promote health by curbing junk-food marketing to kids
  • Support fair conditions for food & farm workers

Eat Well Guide has partnered with Food Day to create badges and widgets for websites and blogs, which encourage people to visit the guide to find sustainable food options on October 24th (and every other day) in support of the principles listed above. The badges are available in the resource section on the Food Day site along with many other materials for those creating events in their communities or on campus. The site also includes resources for those of you who'd like to become Community Organizers to help others in your area.

To get prepared, take a few minutes on the Food Day map to see if there are any events happening near you and RSVP as soon as possible. Be vocal – share your plans with friends and family; post plans on Twitter and Facebook, too. Let’s try to get as many people aware and involved as we can.  We would also love to hear about your plans. Please share in the comments section and/or go to our Sustainable Table Facebook page and post the information on our wall!