Ask Eartha: Does Summit County participate in National Food Day? | SummitDaily.com

Ask Eartha: Does Summit County participate in National Food Day?

Eartha Steward
Ask Eartha

Ask Eartha:

I heard something about National Food Day coming up. What is it? Does Summit County participate in National Food Day?

-Alejandro, Dillon Valley

Hey Alejandro,

You heard correctly! Mark your calendar because National Food Day is next Tuesday, Oct. 24. It is a day to celebrate local, healthy food choices at the community, state and national level. Every Oct. 24, events from coast to coast bring Americans together to celebrate. National Food Day promotes real food and a push for improved food policies, according to FoodDay.org.

The typical American does not eat enough "real food" or fresh, local, wholesome foods. An unhealthy diet includes heavily processed foods which are high in sugars and bad fats and low in nutrient value. Poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle contributes to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other health problems. These health problems cost Americans more than $150 billion per year. "Eating Real" as National Food Day celebrants say, can save your own health and put our food system on a more humane, resilient path. Granted America's plentiful resources, National Food Day takes a stance that there are zero excuses for hunger, low wages for food and farm workers, or inhumane conditions for farm animals, anywhere in this country.

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The good news is more than 8,000 events marked National Food Day across the United States last year. Summit County celebrates National Food Day, too. With the help of several local organizations, National Food Day events will take place at grocery stores and schools all over our mountain community. You can participate this year! Enjoy some of your favorite local, healthy foods and use #NationalFoodDay to post on social media.

Eating local foods and promoting local food policy is a step toward a more sustainable food system. Therefore, National Food Day next Tuesday is also a tremendous occasion to celebrate foods that help promote our local community's health and wellness. You can #BeLocal and check out several local food partners listed in the Ask Eartha article from Sept. 28. Also check out the Colorado Proud items at the grocery store.

Speaking of local Colorado food, the beet is a nutritious staple during Rocky Mountain harvest season. Physical Activity and Nutrition Team of the Summit, PANTS, will be sponsoring a National Food Day beet meal to try at the elementary schools. Every student that tries a beet snack will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win Beat gift cards to Amazon. Get it!? Beats for Beets!

PANTS will also be at Breck Grocery, Breck City Market, Safeway, Whole Foods, Natural Grocers and Dillon City Market, on Tuesday, Oct. 24, to showcase the importance of healthy meals for all residents. At each grocery store in Summit County, PANTS is promoting healthy food choices at their Food Day booths offering cooking samples of dinner ideas, recipes and nutrition education cards approved by PANTS, and discounts on food items off the recipe cards.

Your support and celebration of National Food Day activities in Summit County help us all to promote a healthier community. Please feel free to contact the PANTS coalition with questions or comments by contacting Dr. Justin Pollack at docjpollack@gmail.com or Meaghan Ziegler at officemanager@ebertfamilyclinic.com. FoodDay.org is also a great resource to connect with other events across the country. For any local food or community gardening information, including CSA community-supported agriculture in Summit County, call High Country Conservation Center at 970-668-5703. Use Oct. 24 to start, or celebrate, eating a local, healthy diet for you and your family.

Happy National Food Day!