How to Celebrate National Food Day

Merry, Happy, Good National Food Day! What’s that? You’re so busy getting ready for Halloween that you almost forgot about this day meant to “inspire Americans to change their diets and our food policies”? Horrors!

Image courtesy of hyena reality at freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of hyena reality at freedigitalphotos.net

Well, no worries! While the Food Day website has plenty of general ideas on how to celebrate this national event, The Organic Adventurer is here with some very specific things you can do…today, tomorrow, all year long!

Give your input to the FDA on the new FSMA rules: It’s mid-term election season, and you’re already thinking about casting your vote and having your voice heard. Well, here’s another opportunity to do that! The FDA recently revised parts of these proposed rules and is asking for feedback from farmers and consumers before the rules are finalized. Give it to ‘em! You can read the full text of the draft rules here. There is some interesting background provided here, and there is guidance and analysis provided here.

Take a look at what your child’s school serves for lunch: Our friend over at Florida Coastal Cooking has been! Take a look at her Facebook page to see what she’s found. Don’t like what you see? Check out celeb. chef Jamie Oliver’s campaign to change school lunches. Meanwhile, resolve to pack a healthy lunch for your child to take at least three times a week. Check out Florida Coastal Cooking’s recipes for easy, packable lunch ideas like crustless sandwich rounds (the comparison between the commercial version and her own, homemade version will blow your mind!) and collard sushi.

Join a local CSA: ‘Tis the farming season in Florida, so get healthy and strong by supporting a healthy, strong local food system. If you’re local, check out Down to Earth Farm’s CSA or KYV Farm’s CSA. There are also bunches of other local food producers, co-ops, farmers markets and more, so contact us to start your local food adventure. If you’re a remote reader, try localharvest.org or contact us for help with finding local food in your area.

The KYV farming family

The KYV farming family

Plant a pot of cool-season veggies: It doesn’t get more local than your backyard, rooftop, sunny window sill, porch or balcony. If you have a sliver of sun, you can grow something great to eat! We highly recommend kale. It grows great in containers that can be set out in the sun during the day and moved indoors if you live where it’s already getting near freezing at night (although some varieties are very cold hardy). Kale is also easy to care for and lasts a long time. Harvest the mature outer leaves and the small inner leaves will continue to grow! Sow True Seed (Southeast/Mid-Atlantic) Sustainable Seed Company (West) and Seed Savers Exchange (Mid-West) are great places to get your seeds. Here’s a tip: If you have just a few containers or a small garden, go in on a seed order with a friend or six. It’s a great way to cut costs and not have a bunch of extra seeds to store. Plus, it’s fun to plan your gardens and seed orders together! Give us a shout if you’d like some help starting your grow-your-own adventure.

Grow a little or a lot…just grow!

Buy a ticket for a foodie fundraiser: Show your support for local food producers (and some great organizations) by attending events like the Farm to San Marco dinner happening tomorrow (October 25) at 3:30 p.m. in Jacksonville’s Whatley Park. Proceeds from this farm-to-table dinner, presented by GastroJax Inc. and the San Marco Preservation Society, benefit Berry Good Farms at the North Florida School of Special Education and the San Marco Preservation Society. Check out Facebook, your community events calendars and the websites of your favorite organizations to find a farm-to-table event, community picnic or similar event near you.

How do you celebrate real food? Comment and let us know what ideas you have for creating and sustaining a delicious American food culture!

Great day for Green Lion: The 2nd annual Green Lion Festival

The Organic Adventurer came back from walkabout and jumped right back into the fray as an exhibitor at last Saturday’s Green Lion Festival.

Ready to go early in the morn!

Ready to go early in the morn!

What a beautiful day to be green too! The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing and some fine people were out to find out more about taking care of this gorgeous planet of ours (oh, and to try free samples at the home brew contest).

Aardwolf Brewery was a great host for the event. They even created a signature brew for it! And there were so many U.S. Green Building Council North Florida volunteers helping out that the day went very smoothly.

Here are just a few of the great vendors who were spread out from the Aardwolf parking lot to the Knights of Columbus parking lot across the street and even inside the Knights’ building!

The UNF Environmental Center…always keepin’ it real!

GastroJax always serves something tasty!

Down to Earth Farm has CSA memberships available!

FreshJax’s new quinoa cookbook is available…and awesome!

The North Florida Land Trust protects Florida’s heritage lands!

The kids who came by our table got butterfly, flower and animal stickers while the adults signed up for our T-shirt drawing (more on that later) and got some information on reducing indoor air pollution, eliminating toxic household substances, energy efficiency, food safety and security, and much, much more.

And, of course, we were thrilled to see that event organizers had not only set up a way for vendors and participants to recycle, but they had also set up a compost receptacle. Yay!

During the festival, we were asked so many good questions. Question answering is what we do, so if you’d like to set up a consultation, please use the Contact page to get in touch!

Finally, if you signed up for the T-shirt drawing, remember that you must respond to the confirmation email you received in order to complete your entry. If you didn’t get a confirmation email, please check your spam folder. If it’s not there, go to our home page and enter the same email you used at the festival where it says “Follow By Email,” and then follow the instructions that appear.

The drawing is on Thursday, so be sure to respond to the confirmation email and complete your entry by then.

Cheers to a great Green Lion!