Today, October 24th, marks the first annual Food Day in the U.S. Sponsored by U.S. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa and U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut. Food Day is backed by a large number of health professionals, chefs, lawmakers, and organizations from a wide variety of food and nutrition backgrounds– including Registered Dietitians Patricia Babjak and Ellie Krieger.
Food Day aims to reduce diet-related disease and obesity in the U.S. by promoting safe, healthy food; supporting sustainable farms; ensuring access to healthy food; protecting both farm workers and the environment; trying to reduce marketing of junk food to children; and expanding access to food to help in alleviating hunger. It's a big list of goals, but one that's in keeping with the healthier lifestyle that ShopWell also aims to promote.
How You Can Celebrate
Take a moment today to celebrate food and your health. Here are some suggestions:
- Have an extra serving of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Take a trip to the farmer's market, chat with farmers, and explore new foods.
- Get your family and friends together and cook a dinner of healthy, whole foods.
- Teach the kids a new recipe or one you remember from your childhood.
- Attend one of the Food Day-related events in your area.
Eating nourishing food is the equivalent of buying more quality time: when you eat well, you make an investment in youself, your friends, and your family being able to have more and better years together.
The USDA has a great website that can help you find a convenient farmer's market near you. With over 7,000 markets across the country, you should be able to find one nearby. All you have to do is enter your ZIP code, and the site will give you addresses, dates and times, a list of what's available, and even info on whether or not the market accepts food stamps or WIC benefits.
Want to learn more about important statistics like access to grocery stores, food prices, restaurant prices, and more in your area? The USDA's Food Atlas gives you a visual picture of what the food scene is like where you live.
What's in Season For Fall
Fall is a great time for browsing the farmer's market, with tons of delicious food available. Depending on your location, you should be able to find fresh apples, squash, persimmons, chard, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and more. Here's ShopWell's list of fall farmer's market favorites.
As winter sets in, fresh produce can be hard to come by, but frozen and canned vegetables and fruit still make healthy choices. Since many of them are canned or frozen just after picking, it's possible for these foods to maintain a lot of nutrients on their long journeys.
A Food Day Celebration
Some of the produce you see here might be unfamiliar in terms of cooking methods (turnips) or give you bad childhood memories of feeding the dog under the table (Brussels sprouts). But with a little research and time in the kitchen, you can make delicious dishes with these underused foods. Food Day's website has a bunch of great recipes from famous chefs like Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse, using the best of fall produce.
If you're feeling really ambitious, whip up a few of these dishes and throw a Food Day dinner party. Familiarizing others with delicious methods of preparing unfamiliar fruits and veggies can help them take initiative to start making them on their own.