Mark your calendars: There’s a revolution brewing, and on Saturday, May 19, you can get a taste of it.
Food Revolution Day is the brainchild of chef, author and TV food personality Jamie Oliver, known by many as “The Naked Chef” due to the simplicity of his recipes and campaigns against processed foods.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity has more than tripled in the U.S. Approximately 12.5 million children and more than a third of American adults are considered obese.
Oliver, who strives to bring healthier eating to communities, schools and homes across America and his native U.K., describes Food Revolution Day as “a global day of action for people to think about where their food comes from and get back into their kitchens.”
This starts with encouraging people to cook from scratch with healthy, locally sourced ingredients. On May 19, people around the world are invited to come together to share information, talents and resources and to inspire positive changes in the way we eat. Food Revolution Day encourages people to connect through various community events to promote the mission for healthier food. Food Revolution Day events will focus on locally sourced, fresh food and the need for improved food education; there are already more than 200 events planned in more than 140 cities worldwide.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Hold a SuperFood Drive
While food drives are a great way to help families in need, often the majority of the food collected is processed, “junk” food or not very healthy. In April, Scripps Health held a SuperFood Drive to collect only healthy, nutrient-dense foods such as whole grains, canned fruits and vegetables in water or juice, and similar items. Start your own collection at work, church or school.
Plan a School Event
What better place to educate others about healthy eating than in the classroom? Plan a cooking demonstration, have a healthy food tasting event, or hold a contest to create a smart snack. Any of these can get the conversation started about making smart food choices.
Host a Workplace Event
Invite local restaurants to bring samples of their healthiest lunch and catering items to your workplace, swap healthy recipes, or arrange an on-site cooking class after hours. Write an article about Food Revolution Day for your company newsletter or web site.
Arrange a Cooking Class or Recipe Swap
If ten people each share one healthy recipe, they’ll each have nine new healthy options in their personal cookbooks. If you love to cook, invite your neighbors over for a healthy meal or snack, or plan a full meal of fresh, good-for-you courses (healthy appetizer or soup, entree, side dish and dessert)—one person is responsible for each. No time to get together? Swap your favorite recipes by email.
Get to Know Your Green Thumb
Look into community gardening classes and find out how easy it is to grow your own fresh vegetables and herbs. If you don’t have room for a garden of your own, many communities have shared garden spaces.
Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program
CSA programs make it easy to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. When you join the program, you receive a box of vegetables (called a “share”) weekly for the duration of your membership.
Visit Your Local Farmer’s Market
Take time to get to know the vendors at your farmer’s market.
They can tell you the best times to buy, teach you how to identify quality vegetables and fruits and even share recipes.
By Andrea L. Krakower, MS, program manager for wellness development and promotion at Scripps Health. For a physician referral, please call 1-800-SCRIPPS.