Next Monday, October 24, is Food Day, sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit watchdog group.  This organization has been working for safer food since 1971.  They promoting meals built around vegetables, fruits and whole grains instead of processed packaged foods.  They have coordinated many events for Monday to highlight healthy eating.

There are so many reasons to support their goal.

Public Health Issues

If you want to see a frighteningly graphic image, click on this animated map  of the percent of obese adults in the U.S.

Environmental Issues

Food Day supports small and mid-size sustainable and organic farms as opposed to the agribusiness practice of producing monoculture commodity crops and factory farms that manufacture misery, environmental devastation as well as some pretty awful meat.

Social Justice

They want to protect farm workers from harmful pesticides and abysmal working conditions.

You can look for an event near you at this link.  Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Urban Gardens and Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council are hosting a celebration at the gardens.    In Washington DC there will be an exhibit, “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” at the National Archives.   In Seattle WA there will be a Local Food Dinner highlighting produce and meat from Washington State.  I found 4 events happening in Madison, WI alone.


  1. Coca-Cola, the most aggressively promoted and widely consumed brand of sugar-loaded “liquid candy” in the world, has contributed mightily to the obesity epidemic.  Each can of Coke contains 9 teaspoons of sugars.
  1. McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, a Coke and Fries typified many restaurant meals: short on fruit and vegetables, but bulging with calories, sale, saturated far, added sugars, and white flour, which promote obesity, hypertension and other diet-related diseases.
  1. Salt, which we over consume from countless packaged foods, restaurant meals and salt-enhanced meat and poultry, is the single most harmful substance in our diet.  Excess sodium causes more than 100,000 fatal heart attacks and strokes each year.
  1. Feedlot beef is unhealthy for humans (saturated fat, raised with antibiotics), harmful to the animals (crowded, filthy feedlots), and environmentally destructive (requires massive amounts of energy and resources for feed, pollution from manure and methane).
  1. Kellogg’s Froot Loops, a fruit-less sugary cereal gussied up with synthetic dyes, is one of a host of junk foods marketed heavily to kids.  Kellogg is one of many companies seeking to kill the government’s voluntary nutrition standards intended to promote children’s health.
  1. Jack DeCoster’s egg farms, which in 2010 experienced huge Salmonella outbreaks, recklessly disregarded consumers’ health and dramatized the need for tougher enforcement of food-safety laws to clean up the whole food industry.
  1. Powerful lobbying groups – from soft drink meat, food processing, grian, advertising and other industries that thwart important reforms of marketing to kids, food labeling, farm policies and other issues.
  1. Subsidies to companies that blend corn ethanol into gasoline leading to higher prices for corn and foods with corn ingredients for a program without significant environmental benefit.
  1. White flour – used in bread, pizza crusts, pasta, doughnuts, cakes, burritos, cookies and many other foods – has spurred the obesity epidemic by adding evermore vitamin-depleted fiber-poor calories to the diet.
  1. Vending machines dispensing soft drinks and candy – those metallic monsters lurking everywhere, promoting unhealthy diets 24/7.

What would you add to this list?

Whether or not you get to a Food Day event October 24, let’s all try to munch mindfully on Monday.  

9 replies

  1. I would add an inability to cook. Cheap nutritious meals can be cooked in as little as 20 minutes if necessary and home-made frozen meals makes life easier on days when speed is necessary.

    On the other hand not sitting around a meal table to eat and enjoy food cooked for a longer period of time is also a contributory factor. The French have become more obese as they have taken to fast take away food and dropped their long lunch breaks.

  2. Absolutely true, Joanna.
    Those quick, cheap, nutritious (and I would add tasty) meals should be in everyone’s basic bag of tricks.
    And it’s not just the French who are suffering from convenience food. I did a research project when I was in grad school a few years ago and learned obesity is becoming a global problem.
    And more than svelte waistlines are lost when we don’t sit down and enjoy a regular meal ritual together. The damage to our social fabric is insidious.

  3. We are not the closest of families, particularly geographically, but when we do get together we sit for hours around the dinner table chatting about life and telling stories and I think that does bind us together.

  4. Food! My favorite subject – especially when it comes to vegetables and fruits. (Of course, I have a very big soft spot for cheeses of all kinds!) Your mention of vending machines brought to mind that when I first came to Wisconsin to go to the University, the only vending machines on campus dispensed MILK! It made me smile. That sadly, of course, is no longer the case.

  5. I remember those days too.
    Last spring, one night when Doug and I were working late in his office at UW-Platteville, we decided we were hungry and wanted a break, so we went down to look at the vending machine to see if there was anything to eat in it. It was a nutritional chamber of horrors in there.

  6. It’s nice to have our own garden and local farmers’ market: we now have plenty of potatoes, squash, green beans (LOTS of green beans!), garlic, onions, broccoli, etc. set aside for the next year. Our chickens provide eggs and we buy meats from local farmers. We mostly do from-scratch cooking. It tastes really good! Of course we are retired – we didn’t do this when we were both working, for reasons of time? Or we just weren’t tuned in to the foodie scene back then?

    But one thing that strikes me often is that when we go out for lunch or occasionally for supper, I’m astounded by the quantity of food that the average trattoria serves: far more than any normal person should eat, especially in this essentially sedentary society. And looking at vending machines sort of reminds me of looking at the nightly TV listings: just a wide-ranging garbage list.

    • It sounds like you’ve got a great thing going for at home eating.
      But I have to agree — most restaurants serve WAY to much food per serving.

  7. I know the amounts served in restaurants can be a lot, although I don’t think it was too bad in Fort Collins, Colorado but at least it is perfectly acceptable to take the remains away with you. Not seen that so much in Europe.

    I used to have three children at home and would still cook from scratch. I could make a home-made pizza in less time than it would have taken to get it from the nearest pizza shop – just takes practice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s