Food Day Aims to Transform the American Diet

The goal of Food Day is to encourage Americans to seek healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way.

After attending a neighborhood harvest festival this past weekend, we’re more inspired than ever to “eat real,” the message of Food Day today. The nationwide grassroots event, sponsored by the nonprofit watchdog group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and slated to occur annually every Oct. 24, is to bring awareness to the fight for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way.

The CSPI has been an advocate for nutrition, health and food safety since 1971, but with the advent of Food Day this year, the group aims to transform the American diet, encouraging people to move away from processed and fast food and empty calories to cooking “real” food using fresh ingredients. According to CSPI, food policies also need to change to support small and midsize farms instead of monoculture commodity crops and factory farms.

To participate, make a donation to CSPI or find a local event. To kick off the first Food Day, you can find food drives, lectures, harvest celebrations, webinars, food tastings, farm tours and more at schools, universities and community centers throughout the United States. Don’t forget to fill out this form to ask members of Congress to support the six principles behind Food Day.

We plan to take the Food Day principles to heart — and to the table as often as possible — by preparing a delicious meal using ingredients from our local community farm. For inspiration, check out some of the recipes from the Food Day downloadable cookbook, such as apple and fennel soup from Dan Barber of Blue Hill Farm, Mexican dishes from Rick Bayless, chef of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo in Chicago, and a few autumn dishes from food columnist Mark Bittman.

How do you plan to observe Food Day?