Food Day Highlights Injustices Connected to the Food Supply

This post originally appeared on HuffPost Healthy Living on October 22.

Restaurant workers whose base pay is $2.13 per hour. Workers in food-processing plants who trim meat -- and develop repetitive stress injuries. Farm workers who are exposed to high levels of pesticides.

Those outrages have fueled the increasingly vocal food justice movement. Many workers at fast-food restaurants are protesting in the streets about low salaries and high job insecurity, but the industry is resisting with all its might. With pressure from Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC) and unions, more and more restaurants are treating their workers respectfully and states are raising the minimum wage for everyone. (ROC has a nationwide guide to restaurants that are paying their workers decent wages.)

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Over 8,000 Food Day events nationwide!

Friday is the day we have all been planning for.  Hundreds of events and activities have already taken place to kick off Food Day celebrations with thousands more scheduled over the next few days.  As you know, justice throughout the food chain—from farm workers to child consumers—is a special focus for Food Day this year.  We hope that however you celebrate Food Day, you will consider some of the important food justice-related problems that need to be addressed. 


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Blogs about Food Day kick off nationwide celebrations

Every October 24, thousands of events all around the country bring Americans together to celebrate and enjoy real food and to push for improved food policies.

In addition to the 8,000 events happening in celebration of Food Day on and around October 24, dozens of bloggers have decided to participate in Food Day through our first-ever Coordinated Blogging Event.

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Why Monday is the Best Day to Kick Off New Food Habits

With all of the improvements needed in our food system, it can be overwhelming to think about where to start changing your diet and food buying habits. Sure, this October 24th, you could vow to never let another morsel of irresponsibly produced, unhealthy food cross your lips again. But just like successfully losing weight, the most sustainable changes are introduced little by little, over time.

At The Monday Campaigns, where I work as a registered dietitian, we know that Monday is the ideal day to introduce these changes. Why Monday? Our research shows that most people see Monday not as a day to dread, but as a day for a fresh start. A paper published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine earlier this year also showed that more people are hitting Google in search of all things healthy on Mondays than later on in the week.


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“Food, What?!”: Addressing Food Justice Through Youth Empowerment

For the past eight years, “Food, What?!”, based in Santa Cruz, CA, has been
working to empower youth from across the county and address food justice issues in
our community. Recognizing that food and farming is an incredible tool for self and
community-empowerment, the majority of our programming is based on our half-acre
organic farm, where we partner with at-risk and low-income youth to grow, cook, eat,
and distribute healthy, sustainably raised food.


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Celebrate autumn with Pumpkin Soup

There was a time that asparagus told us it was spring. And strawberries told us it was summer. Not anymore in our global village, where everything is available all the time. Imagine Christmas or summer holidays all year round - the magic disappears.

Staying in tune with the seasons is a better bet; it’s fun, cheap, sustainable and nutritious. You’ll save money and since it's more likely to be local you’ll save fossil fuel - and support your local economies as well. So what about Witches Brew? This recipe for pumpkin soup celebrates the abundance of pumpkin in autumn. 


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Bringing the Food Movement Closer Together - the Statement of Principles

All around the country, Food Day brings people together to celebrate food, each other, and to learn more about issues affecting our food system.  The key component of the day is connection and community.

In a similar vein, the nonprofits and advocates who’ve been working to change the food system are realizing that the only way to create lasting change is to do it together.  This is starting to lead organizations to develop projects and campaigns with other groups, rather than working in their own silo.  This leads to more cooperation, more collaboration and the possibility of joint funding.  There is also a concerted effort among groups to support each other and to help promote the projects and campaigns that each organization develops.


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