Food Day in the U.S. is a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food and a grassroots campaign for better food policies. It builds all year long and culminates on October 24 (NOTE: World Food Day is celebrated on October 16, the day the Food and Agricultural Organization was founded in 1945).
Learn more about Food Day in the video below.
Why Food Day?
The typical American diet is contributing to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems. Those problems cost Americans more than $150 billion per year. Plus, a meat-heavy diet takes a terrible toll on the environment.
Eating Real can save your own health and put our food system on a more humane, sustainable path. With America’s resources, there’s no excuse for hunger, low wages for food and farm workers, or inhumane conditions for farm animals.
Food Day’s national priorities address overarching concerns within the food system and provide common ground for building the food movement. Food Day aims to:
- Promote safer, healthier diets: The foods we eat should promote, not undermine, our good health. Yet, every year we spend more than $150 billion on obesity-related health care costs, plus another $73 billion in reduced productivity.
- Support sustainable and organic farms: Currently, sustainable farms receive little to no federal support and often lack market access to keep them competitive. Meanwhile, the largest 10 percent of industrialized farms—which contribute to poor health and severe environmental degradation—receive 75 percent of all farm subsidies.
- Reduce hunger: Currently, around 50 million Americans are considered “food insecure”, or near hunger, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) participation is at an all-time high. SNAP is vital to reducing hunger, but the program’s budget is under constant attack while federal measures to increase food access are minimal.
- Reform factory farms to protect the environment and farm animals: Today, most farm animals are confined in “factory farms”—sometimes containing as many as 50,000-100,000 cattle, hens, or pigs. These practices result in needless animal abuse and illness, environmental degradation, and harm the people who live in and around those facilities.
- Support fair working conditions for food and farm workers: 20 million workers throughout the U.S. food system harvest, process, ship, sell, cook, and serve the food we eat every day. And yet, many farmworkers earn well below poverty levels while the tipped minimum wage for restaurant servers has remained at $2.13 per hour for the last 21 years.
Our Food Day Celebration in Amherst, MA
Grow Food Amherst has organized a community potluck on Food Day, October 24. This local organization has invited all members of the community to gather for a potluck meal to celebrate National Food Day in the Large Activity Room of the Bangs Community Center. Everyone is asked to bring a dish to share prepared with items from their garden, CSA, local farm or local food store (as much as possible), their own plate and utensils, and an index card with a list of ingredients for those with food allergies.
The group will also have a photo board on hand so that people may share photos of their gardens or prepared dishes.
“The main idea behind Food Day is to raise awareness of the importance of eating fresh, local and healthy food” said Amherst’s Sustainability Coordinator, Stephanie Ciccarello.
To sign up for the potluck, go to: Sign up here!
This post was created with text from the Food Day web page. I’d appreciate it if you would share this post with your friends. And for more ideas, videos and challenges, please join my Facebook Group; Just Food Now. Go here for more of my World.edu posts. To get a college degree see: UMass Sustainable Food and Farming.