By JOANN BISHOP

Why take a day to celebrate food and eating?   Read on to find out!

Food Day was created by the  Center for Science in the Public Interest  as a national event to raise awareness about food.   Food Day events bring people together to celebrate and enjoy food.   These events also encourage people to make healthy changes in their diets and to increase awareness of food-related problems in local communities.  The focus of this year’s event is eating a “greener” diet.

The Benefits of Going “Green”

A “green” diet emphasizes fresh vegetables and whole grains versus a meat emphasis and has a lot of benefits for your own health and for the environment.

A plant-based diet tends to be high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients and lower in fat, while a meat-based diet tends to be high in saturated fat and low in fiber.

A meat-based diet negatively affects the environment by air and water pollution from manure, fertilizer and pesticides, depletion of groundwater, soil erosion and over-grazing, not to mention animal welfare issues.

Fresh Food vs. Processed Food

A hallmark of a “green” diet is emphasis on fresh food instead of processed food.   Processed foods are foods found in boxes or freezer bags in the stores and are one of the most common sources of sodium, or salt.

Diets high in salt make your body “puffy”, or bloated.   Diets high in salt. over time, can lead to high blood pressure, which contributes to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

One can gain control over the quality of food on the plate by growing food in garden beds, pots or community gardens or by shopping at local farmer’s markets.

Diet changes are hard to make ”“ that’s why we are celebrating Food Day at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Food Day on our campus is scheduled for Wednesday, October 28, 2015 from 11:00 to 4:00 and will include a healthy, free lunch served by Bon Appetit Café, educational tables, entertainment and a “Food is Art” show.   The event will be held on the Dance Circle, in the center of campus.

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