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A menu of options for Food Day

In a couple of years, maybe, folks will greet each other on Oct. 24 with cries of “Happy Food Day!” The event, created by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, hasn’t yet achieved the high profile of, say, Earth Day, but it’s well on its way, with talks, dinners, demos, and more in Massachusetts and the nation.

Now in its second year, Food Day — a “movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food,” according to the event website — takes a big-tent approach. All kinds of organizations are getting into the act with many free and inexpensive events throughout the week. You might join a community center potluck or take advantage of “workout Wednesdays” at Shaw’s supermarkets.

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Kim Motylewski, market manager of the Cambridge Winter Farmers’ Market, sees Food Day as an opportunity to learn “how your food choices affect the local economy, the national landscape, and the earth.” The Cambridge Community Center, which hosts the market, will be holding a potluck on Oct. 21. “Sitting around the table is what the community center is all about,” says Motylewski.

“I think Food Day is about people getting involved in the conversation about where their food comes from,” says Bill Walker, executive chef of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Cambridge, which is hosting several events on Oct. 20, including talks by local chefs, and a $5 farm-to-table hors d’oeuvres reception.

In some cases, restaurants are teaming up with local organizations. On Oct. 24, The Elephant Walk in Waltham will host a $45-per-person benefit dinner for Waltham Fields Community Farm, a nonprofit farm that supports hunger-relief and food-access efforts. “We’re going to use it as an opportunity for the public to have a delicious family-style meal and educate folks about our farmer-training work,” says the farm’s executive director Claire Kozower.

Food Day events will stretch from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Coral Gables, Fla. Here are a few other local highlights.

Babson College will host “Think Outside the Plate” on Oct. 23 and 24. Andrew Zimmern of the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods,” Michel Nischan of Wholesome Wave, Skip Bennett of Island Creek Oysters, and others will appear in panels and talks; on Oct. 24, the campus will host a food fair (www.babson.edu/news-
events).

The Food Project, which engages young people in personal and social change through sustainable agriculture, will hold workshops on Oct. 20 at the project’s Lincoln and Boston sites (www.thefoodproject.org).

Several Harvard Square restaurants, including Harvest, UpStairs on the Square, Russell House Tavern, Grendel’s Den, and Rialto, will participate on Oct. 24 in a “20-mile challenge,” offering menus with ingredients sourced within a 20-mile radius (harvardsquare.com).

Community Servings, a nonprofit that serves individuals with critical and chronic illness, will host a supper on Oct. 24 at its Jamaica Plain headquarters. Attendees will hear the organization’s dietitian speak about “Food as Medicine” (call 617-522-7777).

At Lumiere in Newton, the restaurant’s monthly family-style supper club on Oct. 24 will be a $45-per-person menu of seasonal ingredients (call 617-244-9199).

MetroWest Health Foundation will host a screening of HBO’s “Weight of the Nation” documentary on the obesity epidemic Oct. 24 at Framingham State University’s Dwight Performing Arts Auditorium (www.mwhealth.org).

For a complete list, go to www.foodday.org/about.

Jane Dornbusch can be reached at jdornbusch@verizon.net.
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