"Snack Food Association and the National Potato Promotion Board initiated National Snack Food Month in February 1989 to increase consumption and build awareness of snacks during a month when snack food consumption is traditionally low." (National Snack Food Association.)
Because, obviously, we needed help figuring out how to get fatter and less healthy than we already were back in 1989.
The sad thing is that it worked. In the years since that first National Snack Food Month, which strives to advertise, push, cajole, and otherwise convince us that we're abnormal freaks if we don't stuff our faces with Cheetos at any and all possible opportunities, sales of snack foods during the month of February have risen substantially.
It's probably safe to say that most of the people reading TreeHugger are well versed in the nutritional and environmental cost of eating these "edible food-like substances" (as Michael Pollan calls them.)
But how to push back against the huge commercial and lobbying power of the Snack Food Association (which is comprised of over 400 members, including ConAgra Foods, Better Made, and Frito Lay) and promote healthy, real-food snacking instead? Kitchen gardening advocate Roger Doiron is going to do his best to do just that.
Doiron, who is founder of Kitchen Gardeners International as well as the architect of the hugely successful campaign to convince Mrs. Obama to install a vegetable garden on the White House lawn, is now setting his sights on National Snack Food Month with a campaign he's dubbed "#20ate."
What is #20ate?#20ate has a very simple goal: encourage and educate people about how to choose healthy snacks instead of junk food for the 28 days of February, when the Snack Food Association is so diligently working to convince us that we need to consume more of its fatty, salty, chemical-laden garbage. By asking people to forego junk food and choose real food instead this month, undoubtedly Doiron is hoping that after a month of living snack food-free, people won't want to go back to Cheetos and Twinkies. He's also asking people to help spread the word on Twitter and Facebook.
In addition, Doiron is raising money this month to help organize World Kitchen Garden Day, to be celebrated on August 28th and help educate people about how to grow their own food.
Visit the #20ate website for more information about how to get involved.