World Food Day Kicks Off

By: Saira Malhotra

Today is Food Day, and the credit for its creation goes to Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. In a recent article posted by Atlantic News, Michael talks of his concerns about the food industry, his own objectives and ultimately the creation of World Food Day.

As seen through frequent articles and reports, there are growing concerns regarding the way in which food is "Grown, transported, processed, marketed, and ultimately eaten" and how this is unsustainable for both our health and the environment. For Michael, efforts for solving these issues should be on every level, whether it concerns the growth of produce, the way and conditions in which animals are raised and the well-being of society in terms of food choices and fitness. As a result, he has battled on the behalf of the consumer for better product labeling, the implantation of food safety programs, and the push for healthy foods.

Even though, some would argue that strides are being made by food activists and groups to improve the food industry, Michael recognizes that these groups are not working together. According to him, people need to step out of their own silos and join forces. By looking at the bigger picture, a larger impact can be made if food reformers collaborate in their efforts. Anti-hunger activists could collaborate with sustainable agriculture advocates and those fighting for sustainability could work with nutritionists.

It was these challenges that inspired him to start 'Food Day'. He approached this with uncertainty as to whether it would catch on but before he knew it, he was receiving support from towns big and small through the United States, all of whom saw their efforts as a contribution to a larger cause. This week bears witness to 50 states participating in 2000 events. The event aims to touch everybody in society, whether you are a student, parent, teacher, community organizer, farmer or an official.

Here are some examples of events being hosted around the country:

1)Dinner and a movie - Sitka Food Co-op, Sitka, AK

2)Food For Thought - Exeter High School, AL

3)Free showing of the film "King Corn" - Foodlink Action Research Team, Flagstaff, AZ

4)Food Day Donation Challenge - Fresno, CA

5)Picnic with Scarecrows - Doraville, GA

6)Meet your farmer - Eataly, New York

7)Taste Test Of Local Vegetables, New York, New York

To find your local event or more about Food Day, log on to:

Photo: martinjefferies

For more updates on food news, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)