I had a ton of fun touring the city at lunchtime today, Food Day, the inaugural celebration of "real" food which will be held every year on October 24th. Food Day is kind of like Earth Day, which celebrated its 42rd year this past April 22, only a lot more delicious.
|NASDAQ is the Second Largest LED Billboard in Times Square|
In the middle of Broadway's Times Square, Executive Director of Center for Science in the Public Interest and Food Day founder, Michael Jacobson, hosted a healthy lunch al fresco style for 50 chefs, food advocates, educators and public health/social marketing leaders who work hard every day to improve health, reduce obesity, teach children about food, protect the environment and cook delicious and real food.
|Food Day's Massive Billboards Surrounded the "Real Food Eat In" on the Street Below|
|Mario Batali (left) Tweeting to the Music|
Over lunch, local grass roots food advocates and health officials mingled with food celebrities Mario Batali (who was tweeting like crazy), Morgan Spurlock, and Ellie Krieger.
|Tom Chapin, Native New Yorker, WHY Hunger Board Member and Musician|
Tom Chapin, grammy winning singer/song writer/anti-hunger activist and, no doubt, a self-declared locavore with his new family-oriented album "Give Peas a Chance", sang for the growing crowd.
|Food Systems Leaders: Hilary Baum (left) of Baum Form and Lynn Fredericks (right) of Family Cook Productions|
It was fun to see Food Systems NYC colleagues Hilary Baum and Lynn Fredericks who were among the "eat in attendees" and got to enjoy the local, seasonal and healthy lunch at the communal table....
|Mary Cleaver of The Cleaver Co and Green Table|
and Mary Cleaver too....
|Michael Jacobson, Center for Science in the Public Interest (right) introducing Food Network's Ellie Krieger (left)|
Michael Jacobson, introduced Ellie Krieger who provided the recipes for the eat-in from her latest cookbook Comfort Food Fix.
|Food Play Productions -- Juggler|
A produce juggler from Food Play Productions in Massachusetts, a theatrical food education program for kids, came to New York to entertain us with his cabbage, tomato and apple "juggle" (I'm was amazed by how easy he made it look).
|Lexi Van de Walle (human) with the T.G.I.M. Meatless Monday Crew|
And, Meatless Monday created some fun with it's T.G.I.M. photo booth -- don't you love this shot of me in the middle of Times Square?
|Mario Batali (pony tail) Wearing Orange Crocs|
After talking to a bunch of folks and taking pictures at the Times Square event, my Food Day visit to Times Square was complete when I caught a glimpse of Batali in his signature orange Crocs.
|Original Food Day Sign at Union Square Farmers Marke|
I headed down to Union Square Farmers Market where the energy was more focused on shopping than speeches.
Then zipped up to EATALY to sample one of the most delicous (and salty) oysters I've ever tasted --a farm raised Wellfleet oyster harvested this morning -- before returning to the office for a hot cup of vegetarian split pea soup and an afternoon of work!
|Logo courtesy of Center for Science in the Public Interest|
Photographs: Lexi Van de Walle 2011 © - Use only with permission