How do we love thee, Food Day? Let us count the ways.
Let’s start with Food Day’s origins—and its absolute relevance to all that Wellness Warrior advocates.
Michael Jacobson, executive director of Food Day’s parent organization, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), speaks often of the urgent need for food justice, noting how unfair pay, treatment, and exposure to agricultural chemicals haunts the well being of many people who are working with our food from farm to table. Linking this system of inequity to the perpetuation of junk food advertising to children, Jacobson (via a powerful op-ed in Huffington Post) implores us, and all parents in particular, to be more aware and take action against a system that is causing so many problems:
It's time that parents rose up en masse and joined the food justice movement. Parents should be just as angry as the workers who are being taken advantage of. It's outrageous that companies should market — indeed, be allowed to market — products to kids that cause obesity, heart disease, tooth decay, and other health problems. It's challenging to recognize the cause-and-effect relationship between those products and those problems because the full effects don't show up for months (tooth decay) or years (everything else). But delay notwithstanding, those junk foods are contributing to greater health problems and health-care costs than anything other than cigarette smoking. [Food Day is]a time to consider and celebrate what we eat, how we eat it and how that affects our bodies, communities and ecosystems. Let’s do something positive for our food system!
You can also celebrate your own personal Food Day every day of the year. Earlier this week, Mark Bittman, in a New York Times Op-ed, explored our personal efficacy in making positive changes in our food system. We can all begin by finding a harmonious diet, and it does not have to mean starting our own farm in the back yard (although a home garden is a great ideal). Bittman offers two simple rules to break away from the bamboozlement of the supermarket and such:
The overall environment means that you’re pretty much on your own if you try to eat healthfully in spite of the system, and you must take up that battle through a dozen or more decisions each day. But there are two big decisions that can put you on the right path and help you largely steer clear of antibiotics, excess sugar, unwanted chemicals, animal cruelty, and more.
Here then, is your two-step guide for an unassailably powerful personal food policy.
1. Stop eating junk and hyperprocessed food. This eliminates probably 80 percent of the stuff that is being sold as “food.”
2. Eat more plants than you did yesterday, or last year.”
Let’s take Bittman’s and Jacobson’s advice and be active participants in changing the way we interact with food: in our homes, our communities and around the world. It may seem to be an overwhelming task, but simple decisions, such as shopping at the farmers’ market, eating more veggies and avoiding processed ingredients and meals really do make a difference.
Inspiration and solutions are all around! Please celebrate your connection to food and your own new “food rules” on this Food Day!
Over 8,000 Food Day Events Nationwide! via Fooday.org
(Only) Two Rules for a Good Diet via the New York Times
Food Day Highlights Injustices Connected to the Food Supply via Huffington Post