UCR to Celebrate Food Day on October 24

Event will encourage people to eat healthier, more sustainably

UC Riverside will celebrate Food Day on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013.

UC Riverside will celebrate Food Day on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013.

RIVERSIDE, Calif — The University of California, Riverside will join people across the nation in celebrating Food Day on Thursday, October 24, 2013. The day-long event for students, staff and faculty is co-sponsored by the Wellness Program for Faculty & Staff, the Office of Sustainability, the UCR Community Garden (R’Garden), The Well, Campus Health Services, and UCR Dining Services.

Food day is a grassroots campaign for better food policies that encourages people to “Eat Real,” including cutting back on sugary drinks, highly-salted packaged foods, and factory farmed foods. It involves some of the country’s most prominent food activists and promotes a vision of food that is healthy, affordable, and good for the environment.

“Food Day 2013 is a celebration of healthy, affordable and sustainable food, with a focus on fresh in-season local produce, in order to engage our diners on making healthier food choices,” said Gustavo Plascencia, general manager of special projects for UCR Dining Services.

kale handout

UCR Dining Services is promoting healthy food choices, including kale.

Dining Services has been promoting a variety of  sustainable food choices in the residential and campus restaurants that help support the Food Day movement’s goals and priorities. One example is a giant poster promoting the leafy vegetable kale, which is cheekily touted as “Your new friend with benefits.”

On campus events scheduled for Food Day include:

  • Students, staff and faculty will be invited to take the pledge to “Eat Real” at the Food Day Kickoff Event and enjoy a healthy snack from 11 a.m. to 12 noon at the Bell Tower. The pledge can also be submitted online.
  • At noon in HUB 260, a one-hour seminar by Neal G. Malik called “How to Navigate a Farmer’s Market” will teach how to get the best deals on the healthiest foods at a farmer’s market.  Malik is the occupational wellness specialist for the campuswide wellness program through human resources. Pre-registration is required through the  UCR Learning Portal. (After logging in, search for “Farmer’s Market” and follow the instructions.
  • At noon in HUB 268, the one-hour “Making Healthy Food Fun will teach  how to make tasty, healthy food. No pre-registration is required.
  • From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., the the R’Garden community garden will team with FallenFruit.org for the “Fallen Fruit” exhibit, which maps UCR’s heritage as an agricultural haven for fruit. The event is free, no pre-registration required, and will begin at the R’Garden site near Lot 30.

UCR Director of Sustainability John Cook said that he hopes the partnership with FallenFruit.org, which maps fruit trees growing on or over public property, will help remind members of the UCR community about the campus’ history, as well as raise awareness about the importance of getting fresh fruits and vegetables to underserved communities through projects such as the UCR community garden.

“The Fallen Fruit exhibit will remind people to think about the campus and its relationship to fresh produce,”Cook said. “People don’t realize or remember that UCR got its start as an Agricultural Experiment Station, and that there are still plenty of fruit trees across the campus.”

 

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