Updated: May 29, 2019
An Eat-In is a gathering of people in a very public place sharing a meal they have cooked together. It is a “protest potluck,” both a celebration and a demonstration. Its purpose is to make a public statement about the need to fix our broken food system.
By gathering participants around the table for a meal, an Eat-In also aims to build communities of people who are committed to creating a food system that brings people good, clean and fair food.
Frustrated by the lack of good food in the surrounding communities and desire to rally others to start addressing the situation, I have been scheming for ways to set-up an eat-in of my own. On the official Eat-In website, I found a list of ideas for hosting an eat-in. The ideas constantly returned into my thoughts- how awesome they truly were!
In a school setting, a 'get cooking!' eat-in would generate publicity while encouraging connection with local producers, organic produce and enabling the students to show off their skills, creativity, and ability to prepare and present the food.
With the 'get cooking!' eat-in, every person gets assigned to a cooking team. Each team meets in a different kitchen to cook the good, clean and fair food for the potluck. Afterwords, when food is prepared, the task of presentation leaps into the picture. The teams join together to discuss the food; where it came from, why they chose to create that dish, the presentation and finally involving other people in the joyous task of chowing down!
By inviting school faculty, administration, local journalists, local farmers, passersby and capturing this event in photographs, the amount of good that could be done to help raise awareness about food, culture and the lost joy that was once called a "meal" is unimaginable.
Another prospective eat-in eating it's way into my mind is themed 'meet your farmer'. At a local farmer's market, invite farmers and their customers to sit down together and enjoy the true pleasures behind the work. To help establish a presence, doing a cooking demonstration or even leading a short open discussion about food, farming and feasting would be sure to get the attention of those shopping around. Maybe if you talk to the farmers & explain what you are doing, they would gladly donate some food for the meal (good publicity for them too; if one sees it and likes it, one is sure to reenact it..).
No matter how you go about it, adding even a little local, organic produce into your life plants big seeds for change. Start supporting your local farmer's market or purchase local produce available at your grocery store. Check out some great resources and sites below. Get organized and eat-in!