National Food Days: Where do they come from?

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National Food Days: Where do they come from?

Alex Sumas, Iris Editor-in-Chief

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You’ve surely seen and heard of them: National Donut Day, National Coffee Day, National Cheese Day.  With national food days seeming to pop up left and right, the question must be asked: Where do they originate?

While President Ronald Reagan is personally responsible for signing a few national food days into law, with their legal recognition lasting for one year, national food days have no correspondence with the federal government. In fact, when it comes to most of these days, nobody really knows where they sprung from. However, one man can be thanked for the compilation and popularity of these days: John-Bryan Hopkins.

Hopkins is a food blogger from Birmingham, Alabama. He started his blog Foodimentary in 2005 where he wrote about the history and culture of food as a way to celebrate it. In 2006 he was looking for inspiration on what to write about when he decided to start compiling national food days. Today, Hopkins’ website is the one Google relies on for food holiday searches.

Initially, Hopkins only found around 200 food holidays that already existed; however, over time his list has grown to around 500. Although Hopkins has added some of his own days to fill in the gaps, such as National Tater Tot Day and National Whiskey Day, most of the new days have nothing to with him.

While a great mass of these days can’t be accounted for, there are quite a few that have been created by corporations and boards. For example, the National Peanut Board is directly responsible for National Peanut Butter Day, National Peanut Butter Cookie Day and many more. This is thanks to the website nationaldaycalendar.com, which keeps track of all unofficial national days and for an undisclosed fee, the site will create a food holiday, according to newfoodeconomy.org.

Despite the confusing origin of these days, they do come with some rewards. Many stores will give away free food or a good deal on the day that correlates with their product.  Unfortunately, today is National Water Day but who knows: Maybe you’ll have better luck later in the week!

March 23: National Chips and Dip Day

March 24: National Cake Pop Day and Tortilla Chip Day

March 25: National Waffle Day

March 26: National Nougat Day and Spinach Day

March 27: National World Whiskey Day (21+)

March 28: National Black Forest Cake Day