Eat NYC on Food Day 2012

by Nick Livermore

On Food Day – which we celebrated on Wednesday Oct 24, didn’t you? – eco18 was lucky enough to head to this year’s Eat NYC. The evening, hosted by Veggiecation, the Birds Nest Foundation and the Local Food Source Network. The event highlighted the remarkable strides that a number of organizations have made in improving the lunch and educational campaigns in the New York City school system. Ready for some facts thanks to the wonderful folks at Grow to Learn NYC?

1.1 million – The number of students in the NYC Public Schools System

1,700 – The number of schools in the NYC Public Schools System

232 – The number of schools that currently have School Gardens (up from 100 12 months ago!)

That’s a lot of kids, right? You can imagine what a challenging task it is to serve that many healthy meals – let alone craft education campaigns to get them thinking about health and nutrition outside of the school zone. That’s where the gardens come in – a host of groups use them as a vehicle to educate students about all things nutrition.

Rocco Dispirito presented the keynote speech on the evening, where a screening of the wonderful documentary Lunch NYC was played. Dispirito mentioned the release of his latest book, Now Eat This! Italian and the strides that he is making to freshen up the plates in NYC schools and get GMOs out!

The growth of school gardens has also been matched by the a rise in the number of community gardens also offering children’s programs. Battery Urban Farm, in Manhattan’s beautiful Battery, is nearing the end of its second year as an outdoor classroom fork-12 schoolchildren from throughout the New York area.

Also in attendance were a host of exciting culinary options with a focus on natural, organic and mindful eating, which included:

The night was a wonderful celebration of the positive strides that are being made in NYC regarding the advancement of nourishing food and education. Be sure to keep an eye out for next year’s event and many more to come from these wonderful companies.

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