We’ve been told we are what we eat—but do we really know what we are eating? Do we understand where our food comes from and how healthy it is?
This year, as the first of what will become an annual national event, Food Day will attempt to educate Americans about the nature of their sustenance. The goal of Food Day is to bring people together to advocate for “healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way,” according to the Food Day website.
“We are really trying to piggy back on the initiative that Syracuse is a green place,” said Victoria Coit, the Syracuse-area coordinator for Food Day. “We can’t move forward being sustainable without looking at the food we’re eating.”
Food Day was originally intended to be one day, but Coit and other organizers have added more events, turning Food Day into more of a food weekend.
On Sunday, Oct. 23, it will be all about pumpkin picking, which is free and open to the public. The event will be held at Tim’s Pumpkin Patch in Marietta, N.Y. from noon to 4 p.m. Registered attendees will be meeting at the South Side Innovation Center to take a bus to the farm. A day at Tim’s interactive working farm comes complete with a corn maze, hayrides, a vegetable farm, plus snacks and grab bags for the children.
While fun may be at the forefront of the event, education is the underlying theme. En route to the farm, children on the bus will be watching a documentary called “Nourish,” that explains how food goes from “farm to plate.” The goal is to educate children so that their adventure at a real live farm will be more meaningful and they will understand more about what they eat and how they get it.
For the main event Monday, Oct. 24, Food Day will be hosting “Ethics of Eating,” part of a five part series centered on various aspects of food and eating. The event will be held ay Syracuse University’s Schine Student Center in rooms 304 A, B and C. Tickets cost $6 and include a meal. A panel will give a presentation about eating ethically and opportunities to network and discuss the issue will follow.
Coit is excited for the events and the messages Food Day plans to convey.
“I think the turn out is going to be wonderful,” she said.
Providing better access to better food needs to be a priority in underserved neighborhoods, Coit said. “The fight for health care wouldn’t be so bad if we ate better,” she added. “Corner stores are not enough to provide for our neighborhoods.”