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This is a re-post from August ’10. I wanted to post this edited version since February is here. Please consider taking the action I include below.

Do you know what you’re supposed to be doing this month? No? Well, there are some brilliant minds out there who say you should be SNACKING! Since 1989 February has been named by those at the Snack Food Association and the National Potato Promotion Board as National Snack Food Month.

In 1989 the Snack Food Association noted that as a nation our snack food consumption slumps in February. So it designed a month to get all of us back on the wagon. Why not February when Halloween candy has long ago gone stale and the winter holiday temptations have been gobbled to the last crumb? The month is literally “kicked off” with the Super Bowl. Where would we be without bowls of munchies in front of a TV set radiating as many ads as it does plays in the game?

If we took a snapshot of the snack food section of the grocery store in 1989 and compared it to now, we’d be floored by the hundreds of new products available to us. Collectively, as a nation we have become quite efficient at snacking. In many homes there are few meals eaten at a table where people take time to prepare food and share it together. Many people snack right on through the day. Our growing rates of obesity and other diet-related diseases are testimony to this.

As a health coach I work with a lot of elementary and secondary school teachers who plan their February entire curriculum around Black History Month. They often complain to me about the negative impact that snack stuff that is ever-present in children’s lunches. Cheese doodles, potato chips, ring dings and other sugary, salty snack stuff have kids literally bouncing off the walls. Hello Snack Food Association and National Potato Promotion Board people – you’ve done your job! We know how to snack – can we please go back to reserving February to honor the history of African-Americans in our country?

Take action!

Kitchen Gardeners International (KGI) and others have launched a mini counter-campaign of their own here http://20ate.org/. They are reclaiming February for the good food cause — making it into a 28 or “20-ate” day celebration of real foods.  One way you can support them is to “outlike” the cheese puff fanpage on facebook by the end of the month. Here’s the score as of earlier this week: KGI: 4058 fans Cheese Puffs: 5469 fans.  Please add your support by going to http://20ate.org/ and click on “like” at the bottom of the page!

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