For the second year running, chefs, authors, filmmakers, consumer groups, animal welfare advocates, policymakers and other proponents of the food movement are gearing up to celebrate Food Day, a national occasion to raise awareness surrounding food issues – from hunger to sustainability to nutrition.
Food Day, launched for the first time last year by the Center for Science in the Public Interest along with more than 120 partner organizations, will be held on the same date this year – October 24.
Last year an estimated 20,000 Food Day events were held across all 50 states. These included an “Eat In” in New York City, during which 50 celebrities sat down to a meal in Times Square, a Food Day festival in Savannah, Georgia attended by around 1,500 people and a special school lunch featuring local produce served in all Detroit, Michigan public schools.
Events are designed to encourage people to eat a balanced diet of local, sustainably produced foods and to spark discussion surrounding food policy.
On the Food Day website, people looking to participate can search for gatherings near them on the interactive map, or sign up to host an event of their own.
Visitors are also encouraged to take the “Eat Real Quiz,” which asks consumers to enter their weekly diet into a spreadsheet and then rates the effect of that diet on human health, the environment and animal welfare. For example, a weekly intake of 11 servings of vegetables, beans or tofu yields a health score of 33 (which falls in the “B” range), an environmental score of -3 and an N/A in the environmental field. Selecting just one serving of beef or pork per week takes 3 points off for health, 1 point off for environmental impact and 1 point off for animal welfare. At the end of the quiz, a cumulative score tallies all these positive and negative results, yielding an overall letter grade for the quiz-taker’s diet.
“The American diet does more harm than it should to human health, the environment to food and farm workers, and to animals raised for food,” states a Thursday press release on the Food Day website. “That’s why the second annual Food Day aims to use October 24 to raise consciousness on these and other food-related issues and inspire Americans from all walks of life to take action.”