National Kale Day
Never heard of it? Until this year we had not either.
To inaugurate our coverage of optimal nutrition in the news and noteworthy events, we wanted to cover National Kale Day. Yes there really is such a thing. national Kale day has been celebrated for 3 years now beginning in 2013 started by Dr. Drew Ramsey and Chef Jennifer Iserloh. The reason behind this was their founder’s concern about the standard American Diet and declining health of many people in North America.
The day was started to celebrate the incredible nutritional profile of Kale and to highlight not only various ways to eat Kale but also how to store and grow the vegetable. So for the past 3 years on the first Wednesday in October, banners activities and communities celebrate this veggie.
The organization provides a lot of tools and resources to allow groups and individuals to promote the vegetable and promote it both on and offline.
So why Kale?
Kale is a tremendous super food and is also one of the top foods to actually promote and improve health. They call it the Queen of the cruciferous vegetable family which also includes Brussel sprouts broccoli, bok choy and arugula. The nutrition gained form this veggie go far beyond just simple vitamins and minerals. It has a powerful antioxidant and phytonutrient profile that makes it a great ally in battling diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
Studies have shown that two cups of Kale daily has to power to possibly help fight inflammation, cancer and many other disorders.
Is does have a significant amount of many vitamins and minerals as well including Vitamin C, Vitamin K, omega-3. Anyone that has eaten Kale can also attest to its significant amount of fiber.
Kale is also hardy ins storage as well, lasting a bit longer than most veggies when stored or mishandled. This is a very versatile and beneficial vegetable. It is also relatively easy to grow and inexpensive compared to many other beneficial veggies.
Anyone can join Team kale as a Team Kale Hero, gaining access to online banners ads, infographic s and decals that can be placed on Facebook pages, blogs or websites.
They encourage people to share recipes tips and lots of photos on their various social platforms such as facebook twitter pintrest and instagram pages. I was surprised how many people participated in this during the October 2015 celebration day and week.
the hashtag #kaleday2015 received a lot of use as well.
One of the big mission agendas for the organization is to gain signatures on the National Kale Day petition at the website Change.org which asks Congress and the President to declare the first Wednesday of October to be the National Kale Day, hopefully promoting healthy heating and how this vegetable can add tremendous nutrition in an easy to adopt manner.
Ambassadors for National Kale Day
The ambassadors for this organization include the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food which promotes plant based real food and education to schools in and around New York State. They have served smoothies made with Kale and various fruits including pineapple to many thousands of kids. They reported that “most” of the kids enjoyed them.
They also have teaching curriculum in classrooms, teacher training and daily dinner nights which serve mostly plant based dishes.
They estimate they have distributed these recipes to over 25,000 schools nationwide and have a broadcasted wakeup wellness program that is heard by over 100,000 students each day. A related Coalition for Healthy School Food makes arrangements for Kale to be served in over 1000 New York School cafeterias each year.
As can be seen, this is not a small token day, but a large movement of people dedicated to seeing the health of America’s youth improved.
So what happens on Kale Day?
Many schools in the New York area had special lunch menus including kale chips for one school. A media breakfast was followed by 3 hangouts throughout the day. The hangout with the founders was the 3nd of the day and they who were joined by doctors, farmers and the founder of The Kale Project. These people really love their Kale!
Hundreds of Media outlets both text and video based covered Kale Day. Many groups had roadside stands handing out free Kale to motorists and pedestrians. The number of people participating has double each year the past couple years.
Although national Kale Day seems a bit odd at first, it is these types of projects and movements that are bringing more attention to how a diet that is loaded with nutrient dense vegetables can make a real impact on health both for the individuals and the country as a whole. When a person decides to add something like a kale based green smoothie to their day, they likely will consume in that one food more nutrition than many people get in an entire week.
Our favorite Kale recipes at thebestfoodtv
1) Baby Kale smoothie with spinach, broccoli sprouts and cucumber.
2) Green Juice with lacinato Kale, celery, spinach carrots and either Romaine lettuce or other green leafy veggie.
3) Kale powders that can be added to any green drink or even added to a smoothie.
4) Kale chips. While these are much less in total nutrition, they add a fun way for some to begin eating Kale.