Campuses Celebrate First National Food Day
America celebrated its first Food Day on October 24. Organized by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the grassroots mobilization encouraged the nation to not only eat healthy food grown in a sustainable and humane way, but to also advocate for smarter food policies. Food activists including nutritionist Marion Nestle, Food Network host Ellie Krieger and Morgan "Supersize Me" Spurlock staged an Eat Real "Eat In" in New York City's Times Square. More than 30 governors and mayors have proclaimed October 24 as Food Day. Slow Food USA, Unite Here, Change.org, Whole Foods Market, Dole Food Company and the Cooking Channel partnered in support of the event. In total, at least 2,000 events in 50 states marked the inaugural celebration.
Not surprisingly, with the current growth of sustainable agriculture curriculum and campus-supported farms and gardens, higher education advocacy played a big role in Food Day. The campus-based Real Food Challenge launched its GET REAL! Campaign on Food Day, an effort to get every school in the nation to sign its "Real Food Campus Commitment." The commitment will work to ensure healthy food, fair working conditions, transparency and a $1 billion dollar shift of existing campus food budgets to fair, local and sustainable farms and food businesses. Student groups at 216 campuses led the charge, asking their campuses for healthier and sustainable foods.
In addition to welcoming the Real Food Challenge to campus, institutions celebrated Food Day with a variety of educational and advocacy events. A look at the #FoodDay Twitter feed and other sources reveals the following highlights:
Squash painting and zucchini races at Edmonds Community College
Real Food Challenge Campus Everett Community College hosts movie screening
California State University, Sacramento hosts California Board of Food and Agriculture president as a Food Day keynote speaker
Slow Food Ithaca College petitions for local dining hall food
The University of California, San Francisco and the Hastings School of Law host a conference on food deserts and the food served in prisons
Arizona State University students petition for healthier campus food
Unity College students prep seed garlic
Washington State University students and volunteers cook a “real food” dinner at local transition house Sojourners’ Alliance
Rhodes College issues students their own set of re-useable "to go" dining containers
The University of California, Berkeley hosts “Eat Real, Eat Whole Grains” picnic
Antioch University hosts "Food Justice and Our Local Food System" panel
Check out FoodDay.org's free recipe booklet for "real food" inspiration, featuring chefs including Mario Batali, Rick Bayless and Emeril Lagasse.
For great photos, visit Grist's Food Day Slideshow.
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