When hearing “Food Day”, most people probably think “Yay! Food!” or “What does that even mean?” This is true, but there is much more to it than just food! Food Day is a nationwide celebration that takes place on October 24th. There are five main goals of food day:
1) Promote safer, healthier diets
2) Support sustainable and organic farms
3) Reduce hunger
4) Reform factory farms to protect the environment and animals
5) Support fair working conditions for food and farm workers.
As a semester student at Chewonki, everyone develops a relationship with food. At some point or another, everyone has played a role in harvesting a vegetable whether it was carrots, leeks, potatoes, beans, or onions. On various work programs, students have helped in the kitchen by cutting leeks, washing carrots or storing vegetables in the root cellar. Additionally, every Monday morning, our first class is “farm talk” and we have already learned a lot about factory farms, organic farming, and meat!
Since food is such a huge part of our daily lives at Chewonki, we wanted to make food day special, informative, memorable, fun and of course tasty!
Elizabeth, Katie, Sebastian, Sydney, Emma, Lilly, Kelly, Ellie, Laura, Bill and I were all members of the food day committee and divided ourselves into various groups in order to effectively plan food day. Katie and Lily gathered readings that were read throughout each meal during the day and provoked interesting topics to think about. Ellie, Laura, Sebastian and I planned the educational component of food day by gathering facts concerning each goal of food day. We then posted the facts throughout campus in places such as the kitchen, on the fridge, outside bathrooms, and on doors! Emma and Bill helped plan lunch, which was very special for multiple reasons. The Wiscasset Eighth graders were here for the Outdoor Classroom program so they ate lunch in the dining hall with us and got to enjoy a meal all from our farm or a local farm! We enjoyed farm sausage, farm salad, farm potatoes and a bright pink beet and apple smoothie.
Lastly, Elizabeth, Sydney and Kelly worked extensively to plan a very special dinner. Before dinner, everyone gathered outside and picked a slip from a bowl, either receiving “middle class”, “lower class” or “upper class”. Each class was allowed different foods and different amounts, in order to get a feel of what it would be like eating in that class. Throughout the meal pauses were taken to discuss and educate about food insecurity, and many tables had great conversations about the issue. Since it was just an experiment, all the food was available to everyone eventually, and we even had the pleasure of mouth-watering chocolate chip cookies for dessert made by the fabulous cook, Courtney!
Since then, there have been many follow up discussions about Food Day during meals, make it a continuous topic at Chewonki!
-Caroline Weinrauch, Milburn High School, Short Hills, NJ