Food Day 2012 is Today: Why You Should Care and What's Happening in Metro Phoenix

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Hooray for food! Yes, we love food. We talk about it all day every day here on Chow Bella, but what exactly is Food Day?

In short, Food Day is about supporting clean, fair food through community-driven events and reenergizing the conversation on the same day, every year. The Center for Science in the Public Interest implemented Food Day (which is today and every October 24th) to "promote safer, healthier diets, support sustainable and organic farms, reduce hunger, reform factory farms to protect the environment and support fair working conditions for food and farm workers."

See also: - Bob McClendon Grows Organic Veggies for Patients at Cancer Treatment Centers of America - Is Organic Food Better For You Than Non-Organic Food?

We have a dozen-plus events happening all over the Valley today. Here are a few we wanted to highlight but make sure to check the Food Day website (http://www.foodday.org/) to see what's happening in your neighborhood.

Arizona Department of Health Services: ADHS has organized a "Phoenix Real Food Tour" starting at Orchard Community Learning Center at 10:30 a.m. and includes a tour of their working farm. Follow this tour to Tiger Mountain Foundations' Garden of Tomorrow for yet another tour, music by local musicians, and a discussion with the garden's founder, Darren Chapman. Conclude the day in North Central Phoenix at the Central Farmers' Market from 3 p.m. - 8 p.m. with a market with local vendors and free community classes. Some of the classes include wheat milling and pasta making with Hayden Flour Mill, "All About CSAs and How they Change the Way You Cook at Home," by Jennifer Woods (that's yours truly), kids gardening from Horny Toad Farm, Truck Farm Phoenix, The Edible Exchange and more Valley food experts will be sharing their stories. Chipotle is partnering at this event and offering the first 250 people at the Central Farmers' Market a "free $10 token to use at any vendor within the farmers' market selling local produce and/or food made to prepare at home."

Downtown Phoenix Public Market: from 4 to 8 p.m. Aaron Chamberlin of St. Francis (and the future Urban Market Restaurant) and Elizabeth Meinz of Orange Table prepare produce from Maya's Farm and Crooked Sky Farms for demonstration. The food trucks at the market that night will also serve dishes featuring produce from local farms. Nathan Williams of AZ Valley Compost with talk composting and Lisa Scarpinato of Kitchen on the Street will be on hand with her food truck to collect food items for her non-profit weekend backpack program to feed children in need.

Phoenix College: Bring a sack lunch for their Big-n-Delicious Community Picnic from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. on the east side of the Pastor Plaza.

The Phoenix Green Team's Green Gardening Group (G3): This City of Phoenix task force will be hosting "Get Growing, Get Healthy, Get Real" event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Phoenix City Hall Atrium. Find Crooked Sky Farms at the lunchtime market, Valley Permaculture Alliance speaking about starting a community garden, ASU's School of Nutrition and School of Sustainability and Phoenix Children's Hospital will be there to discuss childhood obesity.

Rio Salado College's Sustainable Foods Systems: They've partnered with Mesa Community College, Tempe Union High School District, and Chipotle Mexican Grill for "educational activities, interactive gardening, cooking demos, and more," at The Cafe @ Rio.

Editor's Note: In the interest of full disclosure, Jennifer Woods works for Crooked Sky Farms, does social media for Edible Exchange and has a CSA at the Central Farmers' Market.

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