This week, on October 24th in particular, the United States celebrated our first ever Food Day with events around the country including cooking classes, garden planting and awareness-building campaigns. The notion behind Food Day was to model the highly successful Earth Day campaign to help the food movement transcend social and political boundaries. Here’s to many, many more, and the development of a fully realized movement as part of the general public consciousness.
In the spirit of Food Day, then, here are some links from around the web where we can all get our food consciousness raised.
Promising (if somewhat far-off) trends for the future of food this week coming out of Maine and Chicago, where politicians (or their wives) are finally beginning to take action for food. At a Let’s Move! food desert summit in Chicago, first lady Michelle Obama made a pledge to eradicate food deserts in the U.S. by 2017. And in even bolder legislative news (I know, right?), Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree announced a bill of sweeping structural reforms that would break down existing barriers and build infrastructure for small-scale local producers.
Pingree’s legislation is particularly remarkable for its recognition that these reforms would provide a much-needed boost to local economies. An essay by Tammy Morales this week explains the connection between job creation and small-scale food entrepreneurs. A saying about two birds and one stone comes to mind…
Similarly, Mark Bittman reposted a letter from George Faison, New York area meat wholesaler, making the case to restaurants why investing in slightly more expensive organic, sustainable products is worth it in the long run (both economically and environmentally).
Let us not forget, however, that there is still work to be done. As a follow-up to last week’s mention of the House hearings on the Interagency Working Group’s recommendations to reduce junk food marketing to children, Marion Nestle posts a breakdown of how the talks are going. And it’s looking more and more like the agency will cave, giving up bits of even its relatively toothless voluntary regulations.
So keep up the pressure on your representatives, people. I promise you, Tony the Tiger is this decade’s Joe Camel. In twenty years, it will look ridiculous that we ever allowed our children to be sold this way.