This year, show your patriotism on July 4 by eating local. For the second year, Kitchen Gardeners International is conducting “Food Independence Day," a petition asking the nation’s elected officials to help declare their food independence next month by eating a locally sourced meal on Independence Day.
With support from the IATP Food and Society Fellows, the goal of the campaign is to educate and encourage consumers to source local and sustainable ingredients for their holiday meals. And, by requesting that their elected officials do the same, locavores are able to show, not just tell, officials why they think policy that supports local food systems is smart, healthy and patriotic.
The petition is accessible via www.FoodIndependenceDay.org and asks elected officials to “Whet our appetites by publishing your planned menu in advance of the holiday. Share your recipes and the names of the local farmers, fisherfolk and food producers whose ingredients you’ll be using. And, tell us why local food matters to you.
“As residents of your states and by our signatures below,” the petition continues, “we pledge to join you in this celebration of edible independence by eating healthy and delicious foods from our own local farms, gardens, and communities.”
This is the second year Kitchen Gardeners International and IATP have joined to encourage Food Independence on Independence Day among individuals and elected officials. Last year, 10 governors shared their local 4th of July menus, and more than 5,000 individuals signed the petition and pledge. Including last year’s signatures, more than 6,000 have already signed for 2010.
“Food Independence Day easily illustrates that eating local foods is patriotic, whether you’re buying them from producers in your area or growing some of your own. They’re good for our local farmers, our economies, our health, and our nation,” said Erin MacDougall, an IATP Food and Society Fellow and the Healthy Eating and Active Living Program Manager for Seattle and King County Public Health in Washington State.
For more information and to sign to the petition, individuals can visit the Facebook site. Once on the site, participants can share details, photos, menus and locations of their own locally sourced 4th of July meals.
Also, check out Leslie Hatfield's Food Independence Day article on The Huffington Post.