The United States celebrated its first national Food Day on Monday, October 24. The campaign was designed to encourage Americans to “eat real”. Organizers of the event are estimated to have held up to 2,000 events around the country.  Food Day is sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.  

Although the CSPI claims the movement is not designed to promote a vegan lifestyle, its six key points outlined on its Web site, are goals that are meant to change the way Americans eat. On the surface the movement seems to support agriculture, but there are a few who’ve expressed opposition to the movement.

According to a post on the Center for Food Integrity’s blog, “… most people who work in the food system share, at least in theory, some of CSPI’s goals for Food Day, such as expanding access to food, alleviating hunger, and promoting safe, healthy foods. But I fear that opponents of modern food production will use Food Day to call for radical changes in how food is produced and brought to market.

“What these opponents conveniently forget is that farmers devote each and every day of their lives to producing more food using fewer resources. To them, every day is food day.”

One opponent of the Food Day message is blogger Michele Payn-Knoper. She claims that CSPI’s movement is designed to create more food guilt in the grocery aisles. In her blog entry, “Pass the Cheetos and drop the Food Guilt, she writes “Today is Food Day, put together by an activist group that specializes in guilt trips, the Center for Science in the Public Interest. How about this? We celebrate World Food Day by stopping the food guilt.  Celebrate the opportunity for people to make food choices by saying no to the guilt thrown at us in every venue about food and farming. Unless you’ve visited modern day farm yourself, don’t call a farm a factory just because it looks different than your Charlotte’s Web book.  Take responsibility for your own junk food addictions and don’t blame marketers or producers. If you don’t feel great because of your diet, learn more about healthy foods from a registered dietitian (thank you, American Dietetic Association for not endorsing any food guilt claims).”

Read her blog.

DeEtta Bohling, communications specialist, for Kansas Grains, also shared her “beef” with the six guidelines CSPI provided. Some of her comments express that farmers and ranchers naturally want consumers to have safe, healthy, affordable food. She also stresses that famers were the first environmentalists. Her biggest “beef” is over CSPI’s step about “reforming factory farms.”

Read her entire blog.