The third annual Food Day at Sacramento State, held Thursday, Oct. 24, was an ambitious undertaking, with top food professionals from throughout California weighing in on hunger and the obesity epidemic in America – and Anna Lappé, a nationally known expert on food systems and co-founder of the Small Planet Institute, delivering the keynote address.
Food Day is a national movement created by the Center for Science in the Public Interest to encourage healthy, affordable and sustainably produced food, as well as a grassroots campaign for better food policies. Communities and campuses throughout the country celebrate the effort.
“I strongly believe that California – a leading agricultural supplier – could spearhead the efforts in developing healthy and sustainable eating habits through increased food literacy and effective public policy,” says Kristin Kiesel, a Sacramento State professor of economics who helped organize Food Day at Sacramento State. “I am excited to engage our students and community partners in a dialogue about the food we eat, its health and environmental consequences, and what each of us can do to better the situation.”
Sac State kicked off its Food Day festivities two days early with a screening of the 2012 documentary A Place at the Table on Tuesday, Oct. 22, in Hinde Auditorium at the University Union. A panel discussion followed, with Erik Kintzel (Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services), Randy Stannard (Soil Born Farms and Harvest Sacramento) and Andrea Bricker (California Department of Aging).
The daylong slate of activities Oct. 24 began with a special 9 a.m. cooking demonstration for preschoolers who attend the Sacramento State Children’s Center.
“It’s a way for children to have exposure to healthy foods by preparing, tasting and smelling different foods,” says Jennifer Campbell, a nutritionist with the University’s Student Health and Counseling Services. “The idea is that, with more exposure, children will learn to eat healthier foods and the habit will carry over into adulthood.”
Food Day at Sacramento State events Oct. 24 included the following, all of which took place at various locations in the University Union unless otherwise noted:
“Food Day is a time to explore the many facets of our food systems, talk about what is working well and look for solutions to what is not,” says Lynn Hanna, a Sac State professor of nutrition and food. “Our most inexpensive foods are often the lowest in nutrient density, and the most obese among our nation are also the poorest.
“Our event this year continues the effort of bringing awareness to where our food comes from, who produces it and what environmental and social forces shape its quality and accessibility.”