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Identity & Community
90.5 WESA reporters look at food issues in the region, including access, school lunch programs, food history, culture and more. Check our collection of stories below.

Pittsburgh Set To Host Food Revolution Day

Started by chef Jamie Oliver, Food Revolution Day is this Friday.

Described as an effort calling on kids and adults alike to "get cooking, share your love of food and inspire others to get excited too,” the second annual Food Revolution Day in Pittsburgh promises to be huge.

“We’re holding the biggest Food Revolution Day celebration in the world,” said BarMarco owner Bobby Fry. “It’s bigger than Jamie Oliver’s celebration itself. We’ve got 95 exhibitors, everything from local museums and art institutions to a petting zoo, a dunk tank for the teachers.”

There will also be athletic demonstrations and clinics and live music, all mixed together with food made by students from the Food Revolution Pittsburgh Cooking Club, directed by Fry and 20 of Pittsburgh’s top chefs.

“The purpose is to show what kinds of ideas and conversations can be started over good food and drink,” Fry said. “It’s the most basic thing that we can do — is feed ourselves properly, so the point is to show that food is kind of like the glue that’s going to bring it together.”

Food Revolution and the cooking club aim to give kids skills to turn ingredients into real foods. Fry said those skills are essential to fighting the food desert phenomenon, where neighborhoods don’t have access to fresh foods. But he said it’s not as easy as simply opening a grocery store.

“The problem and the risk of bringing access to ingredients into a neighborhood is, if nobody has any skills, then a good grocery store just looks like a bigger convenience store,” said Fry.

While Food Revolution Day Pittsburgh will be celebrated Friday, efforts to highlight good food will continue, with efforts to discourage students from picking up processed snacks from a nearby gas station.

“Let’s buy the kids of the cooking club their own food truck so they can run their own business and sell good food outside of the school, after school and compete with Sunoco,” Fry said.

Plans to buy a food truck are underway, and cooking clubs continue to expand into other area schools.

Food Revolution Day Pittsburgh will all take place from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the athletic fields at Obama Academy in East Liberty. All food and activities are free and open to the public.