Celebrating Food Day 2011

Food Day is being celebrated across the country on Monday, Oct 24. Over 1,800 grassroots events have been planned to celebrate the day, including more than 25 in Connecticut.

Think of Food Day as Earth Day for Food. It’s a day for all members of our communities to come together to bring awareness to and spark ongoing dialog about issues surrounding food production and consumption in this country. It’s also an opportunity to learn how to make food choices that promote good health and are kind to the environment, farm workers, and animals.

Anyone who wants to observe Food Day can attend organized events in schools, libraries, nature centers, supermarkets, restaurants, art galleries, theaters and more throughout Connecticut, including:

  • Film screenings & discussions
  • Potluck and fundraiser dinners
  • Cooking demonstrations and competitions
  • Food drives with matching donations
  • Workshops with sustainable food professionals

To find a scheduled Food Day event near you, visit www.FoodDay.org, and search by town or zip code.

I am excited to be organizing Food Day events on Monday in both Greenwich and Fairfield in partnership with Slow Food Metro North, a local chapter of Slow Food USA, a national Food Day partnering organization. Amy Kalafa and John Turenne, two nationally recognized sustainable food experts, will present “Overcoming Obstacles to Improving School Food”, a high-impact workshop that teaches successful approaches for overcoming obstacles to making school meals more healthful and sustainable.

John Turenne and Amy Kalafa are well versed in the challenges confronted by better school food advocates.  Amy is the author of Lunch Wars: How to Start a School Food Revolution and Win the Battle for Our Children’s Health, and the producer/director of the acclaimed documentary film Two Angry Moms: Fighting for the Health of America’s Children. Lunch Wars is an invaluable handbook for better school food advocates and attendees can obtain a signed copy at these events. John Turenne, founder & President of Sustainable Food Systems of Wallingford, is a nationally recognized leader and innovator in sustainable food practices. Formerly Executive Chef at Yale University, he worked to create the Yale Sustainable Food Project and more recently led the behind-the-scenes team that made Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution” work in the Huntington, West Virginia school system. http://angrymoms.org/, http://www.sustainablefoodsystems.com/.

“Overcoming Obstacles to Improving School Food” is designed for all stakeholders in our children’s health and wellness- whether parents, administrators, food service professionals or public health officials. Click here for more information and to RSVP.

If you can’t attend an event, create your own Food Day event at home by eating real food. Real food is kind to the earth, animals and people and good for you. Visit a local farm stand or farmers’ market and take home nature’s bounty to prepare a nutritious meal that supports our community of farms. Take a family trip this weekend to an orchard for a memorable pick-your-own experience. While we don’t have organic orchards in CT, we do have family-owned operations using IPM (Integrated Pest Management) practices, which favor low impact ways to manage pests and plant diseases. Bishops Orchards in Guilford, Drazen Orchards in Cheshire, and High Hill Orchard in Meriden are among the local IPM orchards offering a pick-your-own experience.

6 Principles of Food Day (from the Food Day website)

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

Food Day is a project of the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest with over 100 national organizations as partners including Slow Food USA. Everyone is welcome to participate. www.FoodDay.org

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