What is Food, Anyway

“A national event. Real food, just food.” 
Every October 24th, thousands of Food Day events are held across the nation, but why? What is Food Day, anyway, and why does it bring so many people together? 
Just 5 years ago, there was no such thing as a national “Food Day” in America – no food labor conferences, no food justice rallies, no planting days at elementary schools on October 24th. But 5 years ago, a group of innovators in the food movement across America saw a problem that they wanted to solve. 
It’s no secret that the prevalence of health conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes can find their roots in the typical American diet, costing us, as a country, hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Paired with the staple meat centered meal and an industrial system of agriculture, it became increasingly clear that our food systems were – and are – a slow moving disaster. 
The good thing about this slow moving disaster is that there are plenty of things that we can do beyond stopping it in its tracks: we have the power to fix it. That’s where Food Day comes in. Food Day was created not only with the purpose of motivating Americans to examine and change their eating habits, but also to provide a platform by which action towards a healthy, environmentally viable, and just American food system can be fostered.      

The focus of Food Day for 2015  is “Toward a Greener Diet.” Even though Food Day falls on a Saturday this year, UMass still has plenty of opportunities for members of our campus community to get involved! Join us for this annual celebration of healthy, sustainable food and analysis of ways in which we can put our broken food system back together for a brighter future. It’s time for real food UMass! 

Field to Fork: Labor in the MA Food System 
Thursday, October 22, 2015 
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 
10th Floor, Campus Center 
“The aim of this one-day conference is to bring together stakeholders including farm owners/employers, farm and retail food workers, farm worker representatives, worker activists, government, and university faculty and students to begin to share what we know about the problems and conditions these workers face, and to take the first step in developing a research and action plan to address how to improve labor conditions as part of the quest for a just and sustainable Massachusetts food system.” 
Click here for more information and registration.   

Film Screening: Fed Up 
Thursday, October 22, 2015 
6 p.m. – 8 p.m. 
Berkshire Room, Berkshire Dining Common 
“FED UP is the movie that exposes the hidden ingredient in all of our food that is making us sick-sugar-and what we can all do to lead healthier lives, which is simply…Eat Real Food! All students, staff and faculty are welcome to join us for this film showing, followed by a guided discussion. Light snacks and refreshments will be served! “ 

Garlic Planting & Community Service 
Friday, October 23, 2015 
9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. 
Franklin Permaculture Garden 
Get your hands dirty and meet other like-minded students at the Franklin Permaculture garden for a morning of garlic bulb planting and community service. What better way to earn volunteer hours and enjoy the fall weather? 

Student Farmers’ Market & Apple Cider Pressing Workshop 
Friday, October 23, 2015 
12 p.m. – 4 p.m. 
Goodell Lawn  
“As part of Food Day, UMass students will be running the UMass Farmers Market on the Goodell Lawn! There will be a workshop from 1:00PM-3:00PM where participants will be able to learn about UMass’ own Cold Spring Orchard and press some apple cider to sample!”