LatinaLista -- With family grocery bills getting higher and higher with every run to the store, it's hard to be thankful for our food. Yet, that's exactly what we need to be and why today is being celebrated as Food Day.
For the first time in 34 years, the United States is celebrating the day when Americans are asked to join together to push for healthy and affordable food that is produced in a "sustainable and humane" way.
Sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food Day promotes six principles:
1. Reduce diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods
2. Support sustainable farms & limit subsidies to big agribusiness
3. Expand access to food and alleviate hunger
4. Protect the environment & animals by reforming factory farms
5. Promote health by curbing junk-food marketing to kids
6. Support fair conditions for food and farm workers
The overall goal of the day is to get people to drive less through drive-through fast food lanes and stay home and cook with fresh foods. In other words, organizers want to change the way Americans eat. No easy task.
It's no secret that the nation is becoming more obese with every super-size burger, shake and fries that is substituted as a "balanced meal." Food Day supporters want the country to "eat real" by taking the time from our busy lives to cook in the kitchen.
To help us in that department, the Food Day web site offers a free downloadable cookbook with recipes from such popular chefs as Rick Bayless, Emeril Lagasse and Jamie Oliver.
In addition, Food Day organizers want Congress to commit to supporting the six principles as more and more children go hungry each night, contaminated foods makes its way into the food supply system and families continue to spend more on eating out than cooking at home.
However, an observance of Food Day isn't complete without acknowledging the workers who pick the food that reaches our tables -- the farm workers.
The United Farm Workers (UFW) has created a special way all Americans can personally thank the farm workers for their extremely hard work in making sure the food is picked, packaged and ready to be sent to stores across the nation.
The UFW has created a special page where each of us can create a personal message of thanks to farm workers. The UFW will then print out the messages and distribute them to UFW members across the country "so they know how important you think they are in creating a more just food system."
It's a food system that deserves a lot more attention and appreciation from a public that has taken our food system, and its workers, for granted for too long.