National Nutrition Month, celebrated every March, focuses on helping people to make correct food choices as well as developing good eating and exercising habits. As coincidence would have it, March 1st was also the beginning of Lent, which we tend to associate with fasting, but in fact is also about health and wellness – in body, mind and spirit. See the links and resources we’ve posted about this.
Another annual event this month is National Agriculture Week — March 19-25 — a fitting reminder during Nutrition Month that our health begins with care and tilling of the earth. “Food for Life” is the theme of this year’s National Ag Day (March 21), a key part of National Ag Week. Read more at the Ag Day blogspot.
Put this all together – Nutrition, Agriculture, Care of the Earth, Life – and you can see why we say “eating is a moral act.”
The theme for this year’s National Nutrition Month is “Put Your Best Fork Forward” – an encouragement to each of us that we hold the tool to make healthier food choices. At Catholic Rural Life, we also see the fork as a tool to make changes not only on our plate, but throughout the food system.
Of course, it is not the fork or eating utensil itself that makes the changes: it is the choices we make in not only the kinds of foods we eat, but how those foods were grown, produced and brought to our table. When we choose food grown locally or sustainably and by family farmers, we are supporting an agricultural system that is both good for us and good for the earth.
So as we come up on National Ag Week (March 19-25), let us find ways to express our gratitude to all the farmers and ranchers who provide our food, fiber and stewardship needs. Perhaps a perusal of the Novena to St. Isidore will get you on your way and give you some prayerful ideas.