We are just days away from the first ever Food Revolution Day with hundreds of local food events and dinner parties taking place in cities, communities and homes around the world as people stand up for real food and better food education on May 19th.
Kicking off the activities on Friday will be schools and companies, two key places where real food is vital and a fuel for success.
When we think of food and changing what we eat and the way we eat, we often tend to think of making changes at home or in schools and forget about the workplace -- even though on average we're spending 260 days a year at work and consuming at least one meal there every day.
During work hours we can often feel pressed for time and eating habits suffer. The workplace is actually a great place to start thinking about real food, and really it should be company policy to encourage employees to eat fresh, healthy food at work, whether from the work cafeteria or brought from home. Making better food choices can improve performance in both the short and long term for a more successful workforce. After all, we all work better when we are fuelled up on fresh, wholesome, nutritious foods!
Some companies have already started making wellness a priority. Others are still a long way off. Food Revolution Day is an opportunity for workplaces and employees to think about real food. By getting your company involved and encouraging employees to make simple changes, you'll be part of a global movement and making a commitment to the health and happiness of your workforce.
Companies who are standing up for real food and joining Food Revolution Day through a commitment to better food in the workplace:
Virgin Management Ltd and Virgin Unite, the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group, already offer their staff a free salad bar, vegetarian option and healthy food option every day as part of their lunch service, plus free fruit is available all day. In aid of Food Revolution Day they are running three real food initiatives: a healthy recipes competition for employees to share their real food recipes, food amnesty competition showcasing the worst types of processed foods they've ever heard of to raise awareness about making better food choices and their event, 'Feast on Fruit Friday' this Friday. Check out Richard Branson's video and Food Revolution Day dinner party page.
In Spring 2011 we piloted a Cooking & Company initiative with help from IDEO and the TED Prize team to engage IDEO employees and affiliates in cooking classes to inspire people to cook and come away with better skills and knowledge to then apply to themselves, their families and colleagues. Since then IDEO, the global design and innovation firm, helps to run cooking classes with Microsoft, GAP and Method in California. It's a great way for a team to get together, cook and eat together, and come away with new skills. IDEO run these classes throughout the year and are holding events throughout May in support of Food Revolution Day.
Spotify Like many companies out there with limiting cooking facilities the small kitchen in the Spotify London office makes preparing real food a challenge, but the team are never the less committed to fresh food and better food education proving that simple changes and efforts can go a long way to improving food in the workplace. A local greengrocer makes a daily delivery of a variety of fresh fruits, and smoothies are free for everyone. Inspired by Food Revolution Day, the whole Spotify office will be sitting down together to enjoy a 'real food' lunch of salads and wraps this Friday. Jamie has created a Spotify playlist to be enjoyed whilst cooking to or dining with friends, listen to Jamie's playlist here!
JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery specializes in making Bordeaux-style blends that reflect the unique soils and the micro-climate of the west side of Paso Robles in California. The Restaurant at JUSTIN is equally passionate for real food so they are hosting a Guest Chef dinner on Friday benefitting Jamie's foundation. The six course prepared menu by Top Chef All Star's Chef Marcel Vigneron and JUSTIN's Chef Will Torres will take place in JUSTIN's Barrel Caves and will highlight local and seasonal ingredients to celebrate Food Revolution Day.
Planning your own Food Revolution Day dinner party? JUSTIN's sommelier Jim Gerakaris matched wines to 30 of Jamie's Food Revolution Day recipes so check them out for some ideas for your Food Revolution Day menus.
Sports giants have also stepped up in the U.S. to support Food Revolution Day including NFL, NBA and NHL.
"The NBA, through its comprehensive health and wellness program NBA FIT and through our commitment to Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign, is committed to encouraging physical activity and healthy living for children and families," said NBA Senior Vice President, Community Relations Todd Jacobson. "Diet is so important to performing at a high level and food education and access to healthy meals is so critical for kids of all ages. We are proud to support Jamie Oliver in standing up for Food Revolution Day on May 19."
Follow Janey Gourlay on Twitter: www.twitter.com/sjlgourlay