Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Introducing Food Day!

Today’s guest post is by Carolina Sánchez-Hervás, Food Day assistant coordinator at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit watchdog group that advocates for nutrition and health, food safety, alcohol policy and sound science. Carolina invites museums to participate in a national event promoting health and good nutrition.

It’s time to fix our broken food system. Over the course of the next 3 months, the Center for Science in the Public Interest hopes to create a huge grassroots mobilization for changing what Americans eat—and what the food industry produces—for the better. And we want to enlist museums to help with this effort.


For Food Day 2011, we’ve identified six key priorities:
  1. Reducing diet-related disease by promoting healthy foods
  2. Supporting sustainable farms and stopping subsidizing agribusiness
  3. Expanding access to food and alleviating hunger
  4. Reforming factory farms to protect animals and the environment
  5. Curbing junk-food marketing to kids
  6. Obtain fair pay and safe conditions for food and farm workers
Our goal on Food Day is to inspire people all over the country to organize thousands of events on Oct. 24 to celebrate healthy, delicious eating and to solve local communities’ food problems.

As Michelle Obama noted in her video announcement of Let’s Move! Museums & Gardens at the AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo last May, your field already contributes enormously to the health of your communities. Museums and public parks and zoos and so many other places expose our children to new ideas and inspire them to stretch their imaginations. You teach them new skills and ways of thinking and you instill a love of learning that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Museums have the ability to reach thousands of children, teens, and adults every day and make a lasting impression on their lifestyle choices.

So I suspect many of you may already be holding an event that fits into Food Day. For example, in Washington, D.C., the National Archives is observing Food Day by holding an Open House in conjunction with its “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” exhibit. We hope other museums will get involved by offering special programs or exhibits about food, holding nutrition workshops for kids, offering healthier options at dining facilities, hosting a food film screening, or other events. Why not let us help you organize and publicize these events! Visit the Food Day web site http://foodday.org/participate/ to volunteer to be a community coordinator, find a community coordinator, or register your event.

It’s all connected: The meals we eat, the foods we grow, the policies we form, and the impact we have. Let’s have a great Food Day to make it happen!

Interested in exploring what your museum can do to help your community with food issues? Join us for Feeding the Spirit, a national symposium being held in Pittsburgh on Oct. 13. Feeding the Spirit is the result of collaboration between AAM’s Center for the Future of Museums, the Association of Children’s Museums, the American Public Gardens Association, Phipps Conservatory and Public Garden and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.

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