Let’s celebrate Food Day

Published 11:18 am Tuesday, October 20, 2015

On Saturday our community will join others across America to observe Food Day co-sponsored locally by the Farmville Community Market and Piedmont Community Health Coalition headed by Dr. Alexander Samuel.

In a perfect world, every day would be Food Day. Modern statistics confirm what our grandmothers knew: “We are what we eat.”

One of my earliest recollections growing up on the family farm was toddling to the garden with salt shaker in hand. I would proceed down the rows pulling plump carrots and radishes out of the ground, and after adding a dash of salt, I would eat them.

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I was doing my best to follow my grandmother’s advice. “Everyone needs to eat a peck of dirt before they die,” she would say. As far as I know I suffered no ill effects from my early garden experiences, and I’ve lived a relatively healthy life since.

Many years later I am still benefiting from these early food and nutrition lessons. Education is, in fact, the major goal of Food Day. The Center for Science in the Public Interest that originated Food Day a few years ago believes that teaching children about “real food” is essential to insuring a healthier future.

In Prince Edward the Cooperative Extension Service is already offering a number of food-related youth programs from “Grow Your Own” to “Cooking with Cloverbuds.” They also sponsor a Junior Master Gardener group.

Providing education on “real food” was the aim of another Extension program started by Family Nutrition Program agent Pauline Stokes. When she initiated the Farmville Grows Community Garden earlier this year, Stokes wanted to educate neighborhood adults on gardening and nutrition. In the process, Stokes found that young people began to take an interest.

Farmville’s Food Day offers an opportunity for all of us to learn about “real food” as a community.

“There will be a yogurt making demonstration using a demo kitchen from the Extension Service, the Kiwanis will have a bounce house, Farmville Parks & Rec and Friends of High Bridge Trail will be there,” event organizer Allison Crews said. “It will be a fun day.”

Plan to visit the Farmville Community Market Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and take Food Day home. Better yet, make it an everyday habit.

MARGE SWAYNE is lifestyles editor for The Farmville Herald. Her email address is marge.swayne@farmvilleherald.com.