Food Day, held Oct. 24, spanned more than 2,000 events in all 50 states.
The grassroots initiative focused on encouraging Americans to eat healthy food grown in sustainable and humane ways.
More than 30 governors and mayors proclaimed Oct. 24 as Food Day, and schools across the nation hosted Food Day events as part of ongoing National Farm to School Month activities.
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg handed out New York State-grown apples to commuters in Queens and appeared on NBC's new daytime show, "The Chew," and the city's health commissioner announced an expanded campaign to reduce consumption of soda and other sugary drinks.
In Times Square, 50 food-movement notables, including restaurateur Mario Batali, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, Food Network host Ellie Krieger, nutritionist Marion Nestle and several dozen area food activists, staged an Eat Real “Eat In.” During the actitivities, the Reuters/Nasdaw electronic billboards flashed Food Day messaging.
Among the many other events/activities: a conference on food deserts and prison food hosted by the University of California-San Francisco and the Hastings School of Law; an outdoor festival in Savannah, Ga. (estimated to have drawn at least 15,000 people); and a statewide petition drive by California nutrition and environmental activist groups aimed at changing the next federal farm bill.
Food Day accepts no corporate funding or government grants. However, the Grocery Manufacturers marked the occasion with a release stressing the U.S. food/beverage industry's contributions, including providing "safe, healthy, convenient and affordable" food to 300 million Americans and 6 billion people worldwide, and supporting more than 15 million American jobs. The industry's "responsible marketing" and new nutrition labeling system were also noted.