October 24th, 2012

Celebrating joy this Food Day 2012

Food Day 2012

This post also appears in the Huffington Post Parents section. Follow Stacie on The Huffington Post to read all of her posts there.

Today marks the second national Food Day, a celebration of healthy eating created by Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and powered by a diverse coalition of food movement leaders, organizations, and you.

There is no life without food. Food is health, family, connectedness, and pleasure. It is joy. Yet our American diet is contributing to health problems at a severity never seen before, for children and grownups alike. Our food isn’t just making us sick, the way it’s produced is also harming farmers, the environment, and the animals we rely on to keep us well fed. We’ve made cooking a chore and replaced the pleasure of simple home cooked foods with the cheap high that comes from the extreme sweet and salt of processed foods.

The food issues that we face as a nation of parents caring for the first generation of children with a life expectancy shorter than our own—along with financial pressures, limited family time, and sheer exhaustion—have stolen our joy for food. Today I ask you to stand with me and take one step towards reclaiming it.

The Food Day site will tell you that today is about sustainable food options, eradicating hunger, farm worker justice, access to and knowledge about healthier choices. To me, though, Food Day is about bringing joy back to the family table. The joy of feeling good about what you put in your body. The joy of knowing that you’re doing right by your family. The joy of knowing that your choices support your local and global community. The joy of taking pleasure in small actions.

Food Day isn’t about making a fancy farm-to-table meal (unless you want it to be!). For us busy parents, today is about moving the needle towards joy, even if just by a hair. We can transform our diet and we can even work together to transform the American diet, but even revolutions start with small actions. And small actions earn dedication when they bring joy.

So, today, to celebrate Food Day, do just one thing around just one family mealtime that celebrates the joy of healthy eating. Whatever it is—whether scrambling eggs from a local farm for a simple dinner or asking a farmer at the market to tell you about a vegetable you’ve never eaten before—seek out the same easy joy you feel when biting into a perfectly ripe peach or sitting down to a holiday meal with people you love. Those moments crystallize the joy of food and we can choose to feel them everyday. Starting today.

“Food should be healthy, affordable, and produced with care for the environment, animals, and the women and men who grow, harvest, and serve it. But too often, our policies fall short of that ideal. Food Day aspires to celebrate our food system when it works, and fix it when it’s broken.” —Food Day founder and CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson

If you’d like to do more, check out the Food Day 2012 site for info on how to get involved.

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