After 36 years National Food Day is making a return on Monday, October 24. I hope you will participate in celebrating a day that has been set aside to draw attention to the decline in the quality of the American diet, the problem of world hunger, and the dramatic rise in food prices everywhere.
Originally, Food Day, launched in 1975, was the counterpart to Earth Day. Due to a lack of funding and momentum, Food Day fizzled in 1977 even though Earth Day remained.
Now, more than ever, there is a need to raise awareness around the importance of
nutrition. Did you know that:
- Every day one in four Americans stops at a fast-food restaurant.
- Forty percent of Americans eat meals outside of the home each day.
- Children recognize the McDonalds logo sooner than they recognize their own name.
- The only vegetable many children eat is the potato, as in chips and fries.
Childhood Obesity Has Tripled Since 1980
One of Food Day’s goals it to get fast-food restaurants to stop targeting children with marketing campaigns. Children are subjected to three junk-food commercials for each hour of television that they watch. Kid-targeted junk-food commercials drive up fast-food sales and kids end up “cultivating a taste for white bread, French fries, fatty meat, fatty cheese, and soft drinks”.
The Cost To Treat Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure is Over $30 Billion/Year
Yes, that was illion with a capital B on the front of it. That fact is daunting. Much of the chronic disease in our society is attributed to diet. But just as easily as the wrong foods can destroy a person’s health, the right foods can help reverse the risk for disease including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and some cancers.
Nearly 50 Million Americans Suffer From Food Insecurity or Hunger
Specifically, the latest reports show that 33 million Americans are ‘food insecure’ meaning they cannot afford to eat the right foods. Another 16 million are hungry, in other words, not able to purchase enough food. Throughout the United States food deserts are prevalent in impoverished areas. Food deserts are areas where there are no fresh fruits and vegetables available.
- Learn more about Food Day by visiting www.Foodday.org.
- Raise Awareness in your workplace by organizing a pot luck luncheon where people bring in ‘real’ food that they’ve made at home.
- Invite a friend to your house for dinner and prepare a meal together.
- Find a recipe that your children can tackle. Let them take a spot in the kitchen and cook dinner that evening. This is a great way to help children appreciate the value of real food and meal planning.
- Take it one step further and enter the Epicurious Food Day Contest by hosting an event with the goal of raising money for your local food bank or food-related charity. Epicurious will set you up with a downloadable Food Day Dinner Party Kit and if you’re one of the first 50 to register, a $25 gift card from Whole Foods.
- Spread the word. Use the share buttons at the bottom of this page to spread the word to your friends on Facebook and Twitter and encourage them to celebrate in Food Day this Monday.
Food Day Can Be Every Day at Your Home
Go beyond a one-day awareness event and make a commitment to make improve the quality of your diet, and ultimately your life, every day. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only that that ever has.” — Margaret Mead
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