By Richard Naples, Slow Food D.C.
Food Day is on Monday, October 24th. There was an earlier version of Food Day in the 1970s, but it didn’t quite take. As consciousness about food has grown, Food Day has relaunched and hopes to be an annual event. Created by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, this Food Day is a national day to recognize the important role food plays in our everyday life. It starts with six principles:
- 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 and farm workers
But what does one do in regards to this Food Day? The possibilities seem endless! For specific events and ways you can participate directly, go ahead and check out the Food Day website. As for Slow Food DC, we are hoping you’ll do at least one of the following, if not all three. And whatever you choose to do, we hope you will talk about it on Facebook & Twitter and post photos to our Flickr group:
Organize Lunch: Food Day is on October 24th. Yes, a Monday. So take that as a challenge and plan a lunch with your coworkers or regular lunch buddies that focuses on local, seasonal, non-processed foods. Bring some apple spice cupcakes or local pickled okra to share while raising awareness about the food system and our role in it. The Food Day organizers even pulled together recipes from top culinary talent in case you’re looking for inspiration (Mark Bittman’s Couscous Salad with Dried Cranberries & Pecans looks like a keeper).
Eat Out: I certainly hope you haven’t forgotten about Slow Food DC’s Snail of Approval award winners already! Take advantage of the fact that we have access to producers and suppliers that support local, sustainable food by visiting one for lunch or dinner. Be sure to congratulate them on their Snail of Approval, and let them know the award helped guide you to their establishment. Alternately, if you know of a restaurant or producer that fits the bill and is not on the list, nominate them for a 2012 award (well, even if they are on the list, nominate them for this year).
Attend an Event: There are plenty of activities going on all over the region! The organizers of Food Day have done an excellent job of organizing this effort, so we direct you to their events page, where you can find an event in your neck of the woods. (I’m intrigued by the GW Student Food Co-op Initiative’s bike-powered blender event…) Also, check out our Facebook Page and back here in case we pull together any specifically Slow Food sponsored events.
We would be remiss in not mentioning the other Food related events that are happening in October, including Congressional passage of a resolution declaring October Farm to School Month and a presidential resolution declaring National School Lunch Week, which is finishing today. It’s also Blog Action Day tomorrow. Since 2007 Blog Action Day asks bloggers all over the world to focus on one topic on that day. This year is– you guessed it–food!
The planners of Food Day hope it will be an annual event celebrated each October 24th. As we consider the pleasure of food and its role in community and the environment, I know that Slow Food DC members will definitely find themselves living the principles of Food Day not only on October 24th, but every day of the year. And if I’ve left you more confused than before, Ecocentric has a blog post that makes it much clearer.