Slow Food members are taking part in Food Day today – a U.S. campaign for communities to take back control of their food, health, and environment spearheaded by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. With a core mission to fix America’s broken food system, more than 2,000 events were organized for this inaugural Food Day by supporting organizations, public officials and Americans from all walks of life, including festivals, and events in schools, churches, campuses, and homes.
Joining Food Day celebrations in New York, Slow Food USA President Josh Viertel sat down to lunch at a long communal table in Time’s Square with around 50 other notables from the food movement including restaurateur Mario Batali, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, Food Network host Ellie Krieger and nutritionist Marion Nestle. Over a meal of local, sustainable produce, the group had the chance to discuss critical food policy issues facing the city and the nation, while the infamous Reuters//Nasdaq signs displayed Food Day messages overhead.
In other parts of the country, a large outdoor festival in Savannah attracted thousands of attendees; special Food Day menus were served in all Detroit public schools; and in California a collective of organizations took the opportunity to announce a statewide petition to rally support to improve the next federal Farm Bill.
Slow Food USA is an official partner of the campaign, following their own national campaigns to make public demands for a better, healthier and more sustainable food system, mostly recently in the recent $5 Challenge. On the Slow Food USA blog they comment:
“It’s going to take each of us rolling up our sleeves to balance the currently unjust and unsustainable food system. The good news is that there are lots of us and lots of ways to keep the pressure on Congress. On Food Day the tactics you choose are entirely up to you; the greater meaning is to believe that when everyday people take action together, we can make a difference with what ends up on each of our plates.”
The list of demands being made by Food Day are:
– Reducing diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods
– Supporting sustainable farms & limiting subsidies to big agribusiness
– Expanding access to food & alleviating hunger
– Protecting the environment & animals by reforming factory farms
– Promoting heath by curbing junk-food marketing to kids
– Supporting fair conditions for food and farm workers