October 15, 2012
October seems to be the month of food, and not just because of the bountiful harvests currently filling up our farmers’ market stands. For the second year now, two awareness days centered on food system complexities are on the menu this month— World Food Day and Food Day. If you’re confused as to why there are two different designated “food days” within a span of a week, join the club! We can’t answer that question, but we can help clarify the differences between these two events and give you plenty of ideas for how you can participate and show your support for sustainable food!
World Food Day is October 16, 2012
Since 1981, worldwide food and hunger activists have come together on October 16 to honor World Food Day, a celebration of the 1945 founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which aims to raise awareness of the issues that connect poverty and hunger across the world. This year’s theme, “Agricultural Cooperatives—Key to Feeding the World,” addresses the importance of cooperatives in improving food security and promoting economic sustainability, particularly for small-scale farmers.
As part of its new GROW Campaign, Oxfam America is teaming up with organizations across the world encouraging people to host a meal on Tuesday, October 16, discussing how individuals can act to foster a more sustainable and fair food system. The new GROW Campaign centers on five simple steps:
- Save food
- Shop seasonally and locally
- Eat less meat and dairy
- Support small-scale farmers
- Cook smart (use less energy and water)
These steps are great conversation starters for your meal on the 16th and summarize many of the crucial needs in the food system right now. The GROW Campaign website has a list of World Food Day recipes submitted by celebrity chefs, as well as discussion guides, placemats, and more resources to help bring your meal to life.
Food Day is October 24, 2012
The more recent addition to the month is Food Day, which was launched last year by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) as a way to celebrate and organize the widespread efforts nationwide in the “movement toward more healthy, affordable, and sustainable food.”
Nearly 1,500 events are taking place across the country on or around Food Day, including two here at Johns Hopkins University.
On Saturday, October 20, at 4:30 pm, undergraduate members of the student group Real Food Hopkins on the Homewood Campus are teaming up with the Center for a Livable Future, Corporate Accountability International, and the Small Planet Institute to host the Third Annual 100 Mile Meal: Food Mythbusters. In addition to a delicious meal made with ingredients sourced from within 100 miles, the event will feature the local premiere of a new animated film illustrating how sustainable food systems can feed the world, by bestselling author and sustainable food advocate Anna Lappé. The 100 Mile Meal is open to undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff, and other interested community members. (For more information or to RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
On Wednesday, October 24, from 12-1:30 pm (with a reception to follow), CLF will host its main Food Day event, a Polly Walker Ecology Fund Lecture by Francis Thicke, PhD, soil scientist and practicing organic dairy farmer. Thicke’s presentation, “Greener Pastures: A Vision for Healthy Farming,” will discuss how agricultural systems designed and managed in accord with the principles of a natural ecology can enhance— rather than degrade— the environment, produce healthier food, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and remain productive and profitable. (RSVP to Meg Bullamore at email@example.com.)
Regardless of whether you choose to participate in World Food Day, Food Day, or both, there are plenty of opportunities this month to learn about and take action toward creating a more sustainable and just food system.