Thursday, May 17, 2012

Let them eat well!, 2nd rev. ed.

With the streets of Montreal still very much occupied by the events of "Maple Spring" and the struggle over the Charest administration's proposed tuition hikes--Quebec's very own contribution to the international debates over austerity economics--you'd be forgiven if somehow you'd overlooked the fact that this Saturday marks the inauguration of Food Revolution Day internationally.  But there it is.  Note it on your calendars, and make an effort to take part, if you can (and if you care).

What, exactly, is Food Revolution Day?  Well, it's an initiative of the Jamie Oliver Foundation (JOF), a clarion call on the part of Jamie O to "stand up for real food."

FoodRevolution fig. a:  FRD

fnblogo fig. b:  FNB

The event's logo might look strikingly similar to Food Not Bombs' iconic clenched fist, but Food Revolution Day (FRD) is a somewhat more genteel (and somewhat less punk rock) occasion that nonetheless has some substance to it.

Jamie wants YOU fig. c:  Jamie needs YOU

As you might expect, the rising rate of obesity (a major bugaboo of Jamie's) is one of the main issues FRD is meant to address.  Part of the message here is to encourage people to make better food choices and learn to cook from scratch, instead of relying on the convenience foods and the processed foods that have contributed to this crisis.  But it's also about encouraging people to demand better food options, in school, as well as in general, and to address issues of food inequity around the world.  How can you get involved?  Well, the JOF recommends everything from throwing or attending an awareness-raising food event, to hosting your own dinner party (no processed foods allowed!).  But they're also hoping you'll donate money to the cause of food education.

raspberry social.001 fig. d:  AEB Raspberry Social

Here at " endless banquet," we've been advocating in favour of food events, the art of the dinner party, the development of good food habits, and the creation of sensible and sustainable food policy from the very get-go, so perhaps it's not surprising that Michelle got asked to participate in a local Food Revolution Day event.  There are a number of FRD happenings taking place this weekend in the Montreal area--you can check this handy interactive map for more details--but one of the more active local organizers is Appetite for Books in Westmount.  They'll be organizing not one, but two events for the occasion:  a Bake Sale on Food Revolution Day itself, and a Boxed Lunch Sale the day before, on Friday, May 18th.  That's the one that Michelle is helping out with--the Boxed Lunch Sale.  The idea is that Appetite for Books will be putting together a whole slew of Jamie Oliver-inspired boxed lunches, featuring ingredients from Fruiterie Atwater, les Douceurs du Marché, and Boucherie Westmount, tea from DavidsTea, and "a special dessert by famed pastry chef Michelle Marek," and they'll be on sale at the bookstore from noon until they last.  Sound tempting?  I thought so.  Minimum donations on the boxed lunches are $10, and all the proceeds will go to the Jamie Oliver Foundation's food education efforts (as will the proceeds from Saturday's Bake Sale).  So, go ahead--by a FRD Boxed Lunch for yourself, your friends, your family, your co-workers, whoever.  Eat well, get the word out, and support a good cause, all in one go.

Appetite for Books, 388 Victoria Ave., Westmount, (514) 369-2002


p.s.  If all of the above isn't enough to satisfy you, there'll be a Real Food Market taking place on Sunday, May 20th, from 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM.  The line-up includes such local hot shots as Michele Forgione, of Osteria Venti fame, and, yes, Appetite for Books (in case you weren't able to make it out to Victoria Ave.).  The fun takes place at Espace Réunion (6600 Hutchison) in Outremont, and 5 bones gets you in the door (with all the proceeds going to the Jamie Oliver Foundation, naturally).

p.s. 2  One last thought:  maybe, if we Canadians throw enough, er, weight behind Food Revolution Day, we can get the Jamie Oliver Foundation and others to put pressure on our feeble domestic food policies (as I understand things, funds raised from this first FRD will go to address food education issues in the UK, the US, and Australia only).  As a UN official suggested earlier this week, we clearly could use some help.  Urgently.

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