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Food Day Celebrates Healthy Eating and Sustainable Farming

Food

We designate days of the year to honor things we deem important: our ethnic heritage, romance, the labor movement. So it makes sense to spend one day thinking about one thing that's important to every single human being: food. After all, everyone eats.

Food Day, Oct. 24, is aimed at doing just that. In its third year, the nationwide grassroots campaign will put the spotlight on healthy, affordable and sustainably produced food.

On Oct 24, thousands of events will be held in all 50 states and involve some of the country's most well-known food activists. The events support the production and consumption of  food that is healthy, affordable, and produced with care for the environment, farm animals, and the people who grow, harvest, and serve it.

Organizers hope to encourage people to cut back on consuming sugary drinks, overly salted packaged foods and fat-laden, factory-farmed meats and eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and sustainably raised protein.

In 2012, people celebrated Food Day at community festivals in Denver, New York City and Savannah; at a national conference on the future of food in Washington, D.C.; at thousands of schools and universities in Boston, Portland, Minneapolis and other places. Mayors in Los Angeles, Seattle and New Haven chose Food Day to announce improvements to their food policies. A slideshow of 2012 Food Day events shows highlights of the more than 3,200 events held  in 50 states in 2012.

The campaign was founded by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Partner organizations include the Academy of Nutrition and DieteticsConsumer Federation of AmericaFarm AidNational Parent Teacher AssociationUnited Church of Christ and Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University. The Food Day video shown above features an appearance by filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, director and star of  Super Size Me.

Want to find out what's happening in your community? Organizers have an interactive map where you can find Food Day events in your area. Just type in your address and how far you're willing to travel.

 

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A volcano erupts on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island on Dec. 9, 2019. Michael Schade / Twitter

A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.

"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."

The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.

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At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.

The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.

Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.

"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."

Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.

Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.

"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.

"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."

The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.

Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.