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Food Day 2014

Did you know that there is a Food Day? Personally, I celebrate food EVERY day :) But October 24th brings special attention to food through events in cities across the country and online. There is plenty more to read about Food Day here, but the premise of the day is to inspire Americans to change their food choices and their food policies. 

From the Food Day website:

Why Food Day?

The typical American diet is contributing to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems. Those problems cost Americans more than $150 billion per year. Plus, a meat-heavy diet takes a terrible toll on the environment.

Eating Real can save your own health and put our food system on a more humane, sustainable path. With America’s resources, there’s no excuse for hunger, low wages for food and farm workers, or inhumane conditions for farm animals. 

Join the Movement 

The most important ingredient in Food Day is you! Use October 24 to start—or celebrate—eating a healthier diet and putting your family’s diet on track. Food Day is not just a day; it’s a year-long catalyst for healthier diets and a better food system. Let’s use this energy to make a meaningful and long-lasting difference!

"Food" is a big topic, and while the organizers intend to keep things broad, there are specific areas of focus each year. In 2014, it's all about food justice, food education, food and health, and campuses. As I think about dailyServing, I see the first three of these ring true to our mission. Food justice when it comes to sustainability and sourcing food locally. Food education as people frantically try to answer "what should I eat?". Food and health as we aim for good portion sizes and quality ingredients to improve health, not harm it.

I could go on and on about each of those topics - and I probably will in another post. But for now, I'll stick to the point - Food Day in Chicago! There was an event downtown yesterday in Daley Plaza. I was only there for a little over an hour, so I didn't get a chance to experience it all. But during lunchtime, I noticed a focus on small businesses and local flair - farmers, bakeries, restaurants, etc. I enjoyed some vegan tamales and a conversation with the slow food movement. 

Aside from the great food, the highlight for me was seeing the Chicago Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics representing our profession. They had some great resources on making better food choices, and had an "ask a dietitian" booth set up. Since I'm new to town, it was a great chance to connect in person with some other dietitians.

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As you think about the goal of Food Day - to inspire a change in food choices and food policies - what things come to mind for your own life?

What changes do you want to make?

In what areas can you advocate for better policy?

Where can you vote with your dollars?

Where do you need to better understand the role food plays in your health?

Feel free to share in the comments below :)