Food Day aims for healthy people, planet

Janice Daniels

Sometimes it is easier to turn to Top Ramen than cook a healthful meal at the end of the day.

What many forget to think about, though, is that the food choices we make as young adults catch up with us as we get older. Most might agree it is not hard to get sucked into the trap of consuming a daily Whopper while grabbing a sugar-infused iced coffee on the way to class, but are those choices worth the potential health problems that could develop later in life?

The Center for Science in the Public Interest will sponsor Food Day on Oct. 24 at Sacramento State, with the goal of educating students about ways to better their lifestyles by eating healthy food in an affordable, sustainable and humane way. On that day, Sacramento State will play host to healthy information, workshops and yes, even food, available everywhere from the cafeteria to the University Union.

“I am looking forward to food day because I think it is going to inspire me to not only learn to cook, but to cook the right way,” said Jill Roda, junior anthropology major.

In the University Center Restaurant the food day specials will include:

Organic Caesar salad – $7.95

Local free-range chicken breast with organic rice pilaf and organic spinach – $11.95

A vegan and gluten-free organic vegetable pot pie with a Garbanzo Bean Crust – $8.50

A local sweet potato pie with fresh organic whipped cream – $3.95.

Togo’s will also be serving a special Mediterranean hummus wrap with a piece of organic fruit and a drink for $4.99.

There will also be speakers in the Union’s Forest Suite from 1 to 3 p.m., sharing their stories and giving tips on how to initiate and lead healthful, sustainable lives.

“We want to celebrate fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy whole grains -and to support the local farms and farmers that produce them. We want all Americans – regardless of their age or income or geographic location – to be able to select healthy diets and avoid obesity, heart disease, and other diet-related conditions,” according to information from the foodday.org website.

The University Library will be displaying books and showing several films related to food in the Library Media Room from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Films include “America’s Heartland,” “Fair Food,” “Food Inc.,” “Supersize Me,” “The Future of Food” and “The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers’ Struggle.” A free screening of the film “Nourish” will take place at 3 p.m. Oct. 26 in the Well’s Terrace Suite.

“I am hoping to expose students at Sac State to important topics and very applied research at the same time,” said Kristin Kiesel, assistant professor in economics.

Kiesel put in a lot of hours and energy into Food Day as it is her passion to help encourage others to better their lives and contribute to the environment in which we live. Food Day is a national event, taking place in many homes, schools, churches, farmers markets, city halls and state capitals all over the United States.

“I am hoping this becomes an established event just like Earth Day, ” Kiesel said.

From 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. the Well will be holding a small event in The Cove for preschoolers from Sac State’s Children’s Center, providing them with the opportunity to make and taste healthy snacks along with participating in other activities. Treats will also be available for students, staff and faculty in the afternoon.

Along with these festivities, the Food and Nutrition Club will also hold their annual Jamboree in the Library Quad at 3 p.m.

The goal of Food Day is not only to educate Americans on healthy living, but to also encourage them to support local farms rather than big corporations. This could potentially minimize the consumption of pesticides, harsh working conditions of people working in the fields, cruelty toward animals and the pollution on earth.

“(From this event, I expect to see) Increased awareness about how our current food system impacts not only our health but the environment,” said Shauna Schultz, a nutritionist with Student Health and Counseling Services in the Well. “Also, increased awareness about how our food is produced, where it comes from, and how it effects food and farm workers.”

From looking at the Food Day website, and those involved with the event, it is clear that Food Day is held to encourage Americans to better their diets, all while influencing them to make sustainable choices which can ultimately help the ecological world.

For more information on Food Day and how to get involved on the movement, visit www.foodday.org.

Janice Daniels can be reached at [email protected]