Towards a Greener Diet on Food Day

Nina Sparling

Today, individuals and organizations nationwide are celebrating Food Day 2016. With the theme this year, Towards a Greener Diet, Food Day organizers suggest that improving meals is the first step towards a healthier and more just food system—a greener diet could mean healthier food and a healthier planet for all.

In the United States (U.S.), national health data shows that children ages two to 18 consume the majority of their daily caloric intake in highly processed and sugary foods. 42.2 million Americans were food insecure in 2015, while two out of every three adults is obese. Local food sales—including farmer’s markets, community supported agriculture organizations (CSAs), and more—make up only 1.6 percent of the national market for agricultural products. Farmworkers are often exposed to harmful chemicals and dangerous working conditions. 90 percent of restaurant workers do not receive paid sick leave. And, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), livestock production accounts for 70 percent of all the antibiotics used in the U.S.

Despite the challenges, initiatives like Food Day bring people together across the country to work towards healthier, fairer food. All week long, events in cities and towns nationwide are focusing on five priorities in building the food system of tomorrow: promoting safer, healthier diets, supporting sustainable and organic farms, reducing hunger and improving food access, reforming factory farms to protect the environment and farm animals, and supporting fair working conditions for food and farm workers. Find a Food Day event near you.

Consider joining the Food Day Green Meal Initiative, or take the pledge and commit to Meatless Mondays. Consult to Food Tank and the James Beard Foundation’s Good Food Org Guide to get involved with local organizations working to change how Americans produce, distribute, and eat food. And, check out a comprehensive list of strategies for changing the food system through schools, workplaces, restaurants, and more!

Share your celebrations on social media with #FoodDay2016.