What’s Food Day?
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.
A Food Day event could be as simple as organizing a cooking class or a vegetable-identification contest in your child’s elementary school—or a healthy pot-luck dinner with friends. College students could organize forums that explore how our dietary choices impact the environment, the health of farm workers, and the treatment of animals. Health departments could kick off weight-loss campaigns. And city councils could hold hearings on how to lure supermarkets and farmers markets to underserved areas.
How can Food Day improve health, solve food problems, or celebrate food success stories—in your community? It is literally up to you. Find an event in your hometown. Get in touch with Food Day organizers in your area. Or download a Food Day organizing guides—and put your own Food Day event on the map. Together, we can build a broad “real food” movement of Americans who want healthy, affordable, and delicious food produced in a sustainable and humane way.
Why Eat Real?
Real food tastes great. Meals built around vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are delicious and satisfying. But far too many Americans are eating diets composed of salty, overly processed packaged foods clad in cardboard and plastic; high-calorie sugary drinks that pack on pounds and rot teeth, but have no nutritional benefit; and fast-food meals made of white bread, fatty grain-fed factory-farmed meat, French fries, and more soda still. What we eat should be bolstering our health, but it’s actually contributing to several hundred thousand premature deaths from heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and cancer each year. What’s more, the way our food is produced all too often harmful to farm workers, the environment, and farm animals.
Food Day’s goal is nothing less than to transform the American diet—to inspire a broad movement involving people from every corner of our land who want healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way. In other words, we want America to eat real. We want to get Americans cooking real food for their families again. We want fewer people at drive-throughs and bigger crowds at farmers markets. We want to celebrate fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy whole grains—and to support the local farms and farmers that produce them. We want all Americans—regardless of their age or income or geographic location—to be able to select healthy diets and avoid obesity, heart disease, and other diet-related conditions.
Transforming the American diet means changing policies as well as changing individual behavior. Agricultural policies should support small and mid-size sustainable and organic farms—and not pour billions of dollars each year onto huge farms that produce monoculture commodity crops. The Americans—and the immigrants to America—who harvest our food deserve protection from harmful pesticides and poor working conditions. And the “factory farms” that hold millions of chickens, pigs, and cows should be replaced by farms that minimize suffering and avoid the pollution of our water, soil, and air.
It’s all connected. The diets we select, the foods we grow, the policies we form, and the impact we have. Find—or create—a Food Day event today. It’s time to get real about food.