Monday marked the first celebration of Food Day. Melissa Musiker’s earlier post provides a full background on the event. By some measures, including media pick-up, the event was a success. Coverage appeared on both wire services and in daily publications in most major media markets, including USA Today, NPR and Martketwire. Regular contributing bloggers were also a top source for coverage, with original content appearing in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and the Huffington Post.
While Food Day was widely cited as the “brain child of CSPI,” many others championed the cause. GMA issued a press release titled “Every Day is Food Day for America’s Food and Beverage Industry” to celebrate the food industry. Others saw an opportunity to raise awareness of and advocate for a particular issue or agenda. The result is that the face of Food Day celebrations varied considerably across the nation: from agricultural activism in Savannah, Ga., where residents held a rally to celebrate locally grown food as well as recent national food policy advancements; to H&N in Los Angeles, where healthy food access in schools and communities with high diabetes and obesity rates was the motif of the day; to discussions on food security matters with HuffPost’s Andrew Stout highlighting the importance of maintaining federal funding for global hunger and food security initiatives. Some of the more unusual examples included Carrotmobs in Philadelphia and a 50-person luncheon in Times Square with food industry heavy weights like Mario Batali and The New York Times’ Jane Brody.
Looking back, Food Day seems a bit like tofu. It’s good for you. After all, we could all use a reminder about the importance of healthy eating and all that it entails. But ultimately, the event took on the flavor of whatever the organizers were dishing up. We’ll see how the agenda evolves and becomes more focused in future years.
My colleague Jessica Gover contributed to this post.