'Food Day' Call to Action: Less Corn and Soy, More Nutrition and Common Sense
October 24, 2011
One of my colleagues just emailed me, "I thought every day was Food Day."
But other emails appearing in my in box, from Slow Food USA and United Farm Workers, suggest otherwise. Both are looking to leverage a newly rekindled holiday of sorts.
Yes, folks, it's Food Day.
First, word from the Slow Fooders. It's more political movement than celebratory movement, but the time is certainly right:
"On this Food Day—the food movement’s version of Earth Day—we find Congress in the kitchen testing out different recipes to reduce the U.S. budget. They’ve put a Super Committee in charge of it: 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans who are tasked with trimming the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion.
"Food and farming programs are on the cutting board. We understand: we're on a budget too. But we need the right recipe and the right cuts for getting the U.S. out of debt. Unfortunately, the industrial agriculture lobby has some recipes too, and they are the same old ones that have the same disastrous results. If the Super Committee takes industrial agriculture's suggestions, it will be more expensive and more challenging to grow and eat food that is good for us, good for our planet, and good for our farmers and workers.
"The Super Committee needs a different plan, and we have it— a Recipe for Change…
"Our recipe is simple: To help balance the budget and drive local economies, the Super Committee needs to:
- Reform subsidies for commodity crops like corn and soy.
- Protect all funding for nutrition assistance programs (food stamps).
- Maintain funding for conservation, new farmers and other programs that support sustainable farming and ranching.
"The Super Committee has until Nov. 23—the day before Thanksgiving—to submit their recipe for deficit reduction. We have to ensure that their plan doesn’t make it any harder for our farmers and our families to grow and eat good food. We need them to adopt a plan that reforms subsidies and doesn't just redirect them into crop insurance schemes, protects nutrition benefits like food stamps, and supports local, sustainable food economies that are proven engines of economic growth."
Support said Recipe for Change by clicking here to send an email to the Super Committee. It takes less a minute.
The United Farm Workers get even more explicit with its list, though they are a little more succinct in defining the opportunity and inspiration for Food Day:
"2011 marks the first year Food Day will be celebrated in the U.S. in 34 years. Sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food Day seeks to bring together Americans from all walks of life—parents, teachers, and students; health professionals, community organizers, and local officials; chefs, school lunch providers, and eaters of all stripes—to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way.
"Food Day has 6 Principles:
To reduce diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods.
Support sustainable farms and limit subsidies to big agribusiness.
Expand access to food and alleviate hunger.
Protect the environment and animals by reforming factory farms.
Promote health by curbing junk-food marketing to kids.
Support fair conditions for food and farm workers."
The UFW has assembled a way to personalize messages to farm workers to thank them for helping make harvest our sustenance. Just click to compose. (You do have to furnish an email, so unless you are ready to honor that work force by receiving its notifications, I understand if you hold off.)