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Earth Dinner, Earth Day's Holiday Meal, Grows Deeper Roots Nationwide

Submitted by: Organic Valley

Categories: Green Products & Services, Environment

Posted: Mar 10, 2008 – 10:45 AM EST

 

Guests Gather ‘Round the Table to Pay Homage to Healthy Food and Earth, Farmers and Heritage

LA FARGE, WI - March 10, 2008 – Earth Dinners are taking deeper root across the nation as people prepare to gather Earth Day, April 22, to celebrate organic, local and seasonal fare, the health of the planet and each other, and the special meaning behind each dish served.

From small, intimate dinners to grand affairs, Earth Dinners are being held at homes, community halls, restaurants and special event sites. No matter how small or large the gathering, the main ingredients of an Earth Dinner remain the same: a local and organic menu, thoughtful conversation around the origins and history of food, and dinner guests' personal connections to the meal.

"We started Earth Dinners three years ago to honor Earth Day with its own special meal filled with deeper conversations about food," said Theresa Marquez, Earth Dinner founder and chief marketing executive for Organic Valley, the nation's largest organic farmers cooperative. "Many Americans today are detached from what they eat and the tremendous impact of their food choices. Earth Dinners are a perfect way to bridge that gap, a time to slow down and reflect on each aspect of the food being served — how and where it was produced, the way it tastes and the stories behind it. It's exciting to see more people than ever before embracing this movement."

Need a helping of Earth Dinner inspiration? Visit www.earthdinner.org for the party-planning essentials: a guide to getting started, creative recipes, an event planning check list, and a free selection of Earth Dinner Creativity Cards to keep the conversation centered and flowing. Get ideas for hosting a dinner at home, making your dinner kid-friendly, creating a fundraiser for an organization, hosting on a college campus, among others. For large-scale Earth Dinner celebrations, hosts can apply on the site for monetary or product support from Organic Valley, including grants of $50 to $1,000 and Organic Valley and Organic Prairie foods for the menu including milk, eggs, cheeses, meat and more. To find an Earth Dinner event that may be taking place near you, visit www.earthdinner.org/events.

Also available in celebration of Earth Dinner this year is "Unconventional Wisdom: The Earth Dinner Reader," a collection of essay, poetry, science and fiction readings designed to inspire discussion around simple topics, such as people's personal connections to food, and broader questions about global food issues, such as developing a healthy and sustainable food network. The book of readings will be available for free download at www.earthdinner.org after April 1.

The complete collection of Earth Dinner Creativity Cards, a playful, thought-provoking collection of food and farming trivia and questions, also is available at www.earthdinner.org ($10 each). Cards are divided into four suits: Fun Facts (How long does it usually take for a chicken to lay an egg?), Storytelling (What kinds of foods did your grandparents eat?), Imagination (Select a dish on the table and create a haiku to describe it.) and Inspiration (What food or plants have you grown yourself?).

For non-profits and others hosting Earth Dinners as fundraisers, Organic Valley is accepting requests for support at www.earthdinner.org/support. Types of support include a Silent Auction Kit featuring Earth Dinner Cards, 52 Organic Valley free product coupons and a display poster to merchandise the auction or raffle item. For events with 100 or more guests, request an Organic Valley farmer to speak and inspire the crowd. Small cash grants are available as well as food donations.

Earth Dinner is supported by a broad-based coalition of organizations including Beyond Pesticides, Bioneers, Chefs Collaborative, Healthy Child Healthy World (formerly Children's Health Environmental Coalition), Earth Day Network, Earth Pledge, Eco Education, Ecotrust, Environmental Working Group, Heifer International, Slow Food USA, Small Planet Institute, Social Venture Network, OM Organics, The Organic Center, Organic Consumers Association, and Waterkeeper Alliance.

About Organic Valley Family of Farms

Organic Valley is America's largest cooperative of organic farmers and is one of the nation's leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents more than 1,201 farmers in 32 states and one Canadian province, and achieved $334 million in 2006 sales. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces a variety of organic foods, including organic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, produce and juice, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide. The same farmers who produce for Organic Valley also produce a full range of delicious organic meat under the Organic Prairie Family of Farms label. For further information, call 1-888-444-MILK or visit www.organicvalley.coop, www.organicprairie.com and the cooperative's farmers' website, www.farmers.coop.

Note to Media: High-resolution Earth Dinner images are available at this link: http://www.earthdinner.org/media

For more information, please contact:

Eric Davis Haberman & Associates
Phone: 612.372.6465

For more from this organization:

Organic Valley

 

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