You might have heard that today is Food Day, the second annual celebration of “healthy, affordable and sustainable food” coordinated by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Perhaps you’ve been celebrating Food Day the same way I have: by eating lunch at my desk.
Somehow, I don’t think that’s in the spirit of the day.
Others, fortunately, have done far more. Here are a few of the highlights:
* A new organization, Food Policy Action, today issued a “food policy scorecard,” in which it rates federal lawmakers on how they voted on SNAP funding, food safety, GMO labeling and other food-oriented bills and amendments.
Fifty senators and representatives earned a perfect score, including Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-Va.), Rep. James Moran, Jr. (D-Va.), Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.), Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) and Rep. Christopher Van Hollen, Jr. (D-Md.). Among the lawmakers with the lowest scores were House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla).
“For the first time, we will have a seat at the political table, armed with important information about how our senators and representatives voted on important issues involving our food,” said chef-restaurateur and “Top Chef” co-host Tom Colicchio, a founding FPA board member, in a news release.
* The Capital Area Food Bank used the day to announce that it has launched a new initiative to “increase demand for nutritious foods within the organization and across the food bank’s network of partner agencies,” according to a release. The idea is to make healthful food available to those who can least afford it.
* A unique Food Day Twitter Conference was held this afternoon on the social media site, covering such topics as animal welfare, farm worker rights and the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture.
* Food Day organizers have put together a food quiz to determine how your diet affects your health, the environment and animal welfare. (A humbling exercise, I should add.)
* The Humane Society of the United States worked with Aardman Studios to produced this video, “A Pig’s Tail,” to help kids understand the difference between factory farms and small family farms. (The video is featured above.)
Hundreds of other events have already occurred. Perhaps you took part in one that you’d like to talk about in the comments section below.