Have you heard that Saturday, May 19, is Food Revolution Day? It was news to me, too. Instigated by the Jamie Oliver Foundation, it’s a worldwide event designed to celebrate healthy eating and bring people together at dinner tables and local events. Here’s from their mission:
Food Revolution Day is about connecting with your community through events at schools, restaurants, local businesses, dinner parties and farmers’ markets. We want to inspire change in people’s food habits and to promote the mission for better food and education for everyone.
If you’re in Cincinnati, please plan to join me on Saturday, May 19, for a Community Celebration of Seasonal Food at Gabriel’s Place on Reading Road in Avondale. From 10 a.m. to noon, I’ll be presenting about how to eat seasonally, demonstrating how to cook with spring’s best produce (featuring asparagus and lettuce) and offering tastings of asparagus frittata and simple green salad.
I’ve written before about how I think the food community—growers, farmers, small producers and all of us who enjoy cooking and eating good and healthy food—can help solve many of our collective problems. While I’m endlessly frustrated by my powerlessness to resolve the poor economy and the nasty political climate, I know that—as an individual—I can do something about the issues revolving around health, culture and the environment. And I like that there’s a feeling of power, even revolution, about my food choices.
This food revolution doesn’t have to have a radical agenda—you don’t have to consume raw dairy or go vegan in order to make a difference. Instead, think of all the little things you can do—every day—to support this important cause. Here are just a few examples of small actions that can have revolutionary impact:
- Refill your water bottle instead of reaching for a soda.
- At least one night a week, make a dinner that’s so delicious you won’t miss the meat—dishes like this cheesy pasta with arugula and mushrooms or a beautiful vegetable frittata.
- As we head into late spring, resolve to shop once a month at a farmers’ market near you. Bring your family, make it an outing. Talk with the farmers and growers, get to know the people who bring food to your table.
- Instead of buying packaged items from the grocery, try making your own. This super-easy homemade vinaigrette recipe will convince you to leave the bottled salad dressing on the shelf—forever.
- Introduce your kids to cooking. If they’re old enough to safely handle knives and the stove, create a plan where every family member takes a turn, once a month, to plan and prepare a dinner of their choice, with everyone else pitching in. Make it a special event: Candles, the good silver, the whole nine yards. For younger ones, involve them in meal planning, make a batch of chocolate chip cookies together.
- Brown-bag your lunch at least two days a week, and skip the frozen micro-meals and fast food. Help yourself to these delicious and healthy lunchtime recipes.
- Plant a garden and grow herbs and vegetables, or join a community garden. It doesn’t even have to be a garden: A big pot on the porch will produce a summer-long tomato crop and a window box of herbs will give you plenty of flavor for cooking. Here’s my beginner’s guide to container vegetable gardening.
- Donate to your local food pantry. Understand that not everyone has access to healthy food, and express your gratitude by making a donation. Choose good-for-you items: canned vegetables (with lower sodium), canned fruit (in natural juice), whole-grain pastas, rice, natural peanut butter.
Click the image below to download a brochure with more ideas on how you can join the Food Revolution, and visit the Food Revolution Day website to learn more about the day and the events related to it.