Did you know there’s a whole day set aside to celebrate food?
Did you know there’s a whole day set aside to celebrate food? Welcome to Food Day 2016!
Every year on October 24, Food Day encourages people to eat a healthier diet that takes into consideration not only your health, but the health of the environment and animals, as well.
“Everyone can choose their own way to celebrate Food Day, whether it’s trying local produce from a farmers market, taking a cooking class, teaching a young person to prepare a healthy snack at home or volunteering for an afternoon at a community garden,” says Barbara Melendi, a dietitian at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “Becoming more connected to the production and preparation of the food we eat inevitably results in healthier eating habits.”
This year’s Food Day theme is “Toward a Greener Diet,” and aims to raise awareness of the important role the environment plays in the food system.
“The food we eat can impact our health directly when we consume it, but also indirectly through the environmental and population health impacts of our food production and distribution system,” says Melendi. “The overuse of antibiotics in our meat supply is contributing to the frightening increase in antibiotic resistance and ‘superbugs.’ Many times, consumers overlook the environmental impacts of our food choices. Food Day helps us to remember and combat the negative effects on soil and water quality, air pollution and biodiversity that our current food production and distribution system generates. By using our purchasing power, we can increase the demand for sustainably produced meats and other foods.”
Proponents of Food Day also recognize the cost of healthy foods can sometimes be a barrier to healthy eating. Melendi offers some advice on how to eat healthy on a budget.
“Reducing food waste is not only great for the environment, but it is an often overlooked way to save money in your food budget,” says Melendi. “Too many times, fresh fruits and veggies are forgotten and discarded as waste rather than eaten. Combat food waste by making smaller, more frequent shopping visits and buying just what you plan to eat in the next few days. If this isn’t practical for your busy life, purchasing frozen or canned fruits and veggies is a great alternative. Incorporate fruits, veggies and beans in every meal for a well-rounded diet packed with great nutrition.”
In addition, Melendi says Food Day is also a great time to voice your support for legislation that protects our food supply and champions sustainability efforts. Click here for more information.
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