- Author: Alec Rosenberg
It’s a nationwide campaign with a local flavor: University of California wellness leaders are planning Food Day activities at UC campuses, medical centers and other locations.
The goal is to get people to “eat real,” supporting healthy, delicious and affordable food prepared in a sustainable, humane way.
“We want to raise people’s awareness of where their food comes from. Think every time you put something in your mouth,” said Ginnie Thomas, a health advocate for housing and residential dining services at UC Santa Barbara. She is co-coordinating UC’s Food Day efforts with UC Irvine wellness manager Dyan Hall.
UC Food Day events will include special menus at campus dining facilities; healthy non-perishable food drives for low-income students or community partners; and presentations about mindful eating practices, healthy food preparation and how to build a sustainable food plate. For example, UC Berkeley will host a BYO lunch picnic while UC Santa Barbara events will include meatless Monday for students in residential dining and a registered dietitian discussing mindful eating for staff and students.
Thomas, who used to live on a Ventura County ranch where her family produced homemade butter, cheese and yogurt, encouraged people to follow the six Food Day principles:
• Reduce diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods
• Support sustainable farms and limit subsidies to big agribusiness
• Expand access to food and alleviate hunger
• Protect the environment and animals by reforming factory farms
• Promote health by curbing junk-food marketing to kids
• Support fair conditions for food and farm workers
Food Day is organized nationally by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group known for its studies reporting the unhealthiness of movie popcorn and ice cream shop “coronaries in cones.”
The Food Day advisory board includes UCLA public health professor Jonathan Fielding, UC San Francisco professors David Kessler and Dean Ornish, UC Berkeley journalism professor Michael Pollan, and Chez Panisse owner Alice Waters, a UC Berkeley alumna.
For more information, visit the UC Food Day website to:
• Take the pledge to eat real food that supports any of the six Food Day principles
• Find links to your UC location Food Day calendar of activities (and the UC Food Blog)
• Learn more about Food Day and the six Food Day principles