by Ashleigh Ricevuto, MBA, RD, LD, CDE
October 24 is National Food Day, a nationwide celebration and a movement toward healthy, affordable and sustainable food. Food Day has five objectives:
- Promote safer, healthier diets
- Support sustainable and organic farms
- Reduce hunger
- Reform factory farms
- Support fair working conditions
MUSC will be celebrating Food Day in the MUSC Urban Farm this year. The MUSC Urban Farm is a .5 acre farm located on the MUSC campus, near President and Bee Streets, and provides a place where students, faculty, staff and the Charleston community can come together to learn about the connection between land and food. Join us on Food Day for special educational and hands-on activities in the farm during the day including:
- 11:30 am to 12 pm – Nutritional Talk: “Keeping it Real – Obstacles to Eating Real Food” by Vanessa Clark, MUSC Registered Dietitian
- 12 to 12:30 pm – Nutritional Talk and Food Demonstration: “Squashing Your Fall Vegetable Fears – How to Prepare Our Fall Harvest” by Sara Hendrix, MUSC Registered Dietitian and Brett Cunningham, Sodexo Chef
- 4 to 6:30 pm – The local Charleston-Trident Dietetic Association (CTDA) will be working with the Charleston chapter of the female culinary group, Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI) to promote healthy food in the Urban Farm. LDEI chefs will be paired with a local Registered Dietitian to prepare healthy recipes and provide tips for healthy eating. Samples of three meals will be provided using fresh, local vegetables from the Urban Farm including Vegetable Crostinis and Spicy Tomato Soup.
- Fun farm learning activities for children will also be available throughout the day.
Take the Food Day Challenge:
Besides celebrating healthy, affordable, and sustainable food, Food Day is a day of action. While activists around the country will be using Food Day to call for better food policies, Food Day can be observed in any number of smaller, personal ways.
Take the Food Day challenge by incorporating as many of these ideas as you can into your lifestyle.
- Drink water instead of soda and make that a habit.
- Cook at least one more meal at home per week using a healthy new recipe.
- Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season—they have more nutrients and may be cheaper.
- Choose cage-free eggs—the hens have happier lives.
- Start a windowsill garden—even a basil plant will do.
- Check your fridge and cupboards and throw out the sugary, salty foods.
- Skip a muffin; it would take a 45-minute run to burn off the 400 calories.
- Do some or most of your shopping at your local farmers market.
- Pack a healthy lunch instead of eating out.
- Read more Nutrition Facts labels, looking especially at calories, sodium, and portion size.
- Try whole grain bread, pasta, and rice, which are more nutritious than their white counterparts.
Ashleigh Ricevuto, MBA, RD, LD, CDE is a Sodexo Dietitian at MUSC. Ashleigh is the President of the Charleston Trident Dietetic Association. Feel free to contact her for all things RD at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At MUSC, Sodexo Nutrition Services employs about 30 Registered Dietitians.