Rethinking the food we eat Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler, editor   
Thursday, Jul. 29, 2010 -- 12:00 AM

Editorial logo

We all need food to survive, but do we really think about the food we’re eating: where it came from, who grew it, how it was prepared?

There are many aspects of food production that have moral and even spiritual dimensions, points out Tom Nelson, coordinator of the Rural Life Office for Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Madison. Nelson’s reflections on “the sacred act of eating” can be found in this week’s Catholic Herald. He points out that we humans serve as stewards of creation and we must take care of the resources God has provided.

We must also strive to avoid a purely consumer mentality, where we devour the world’s resources without concern for  the destruction we’ve leaving behind. For example, we might consider whether the food we’re eating is being produced in a sustainable manner. That means that farmers and other food producers will try to enhance the environment and natural resources as much as possible so that it will be viable for future generations.

For us as consumers, we might also consider buying more locally grown food. By buying food at a local farmers’ market, we can talk with the growers about their farming practices.

Catholic Charities Rural Life Office ( offers 12 reasons to consider eating locally grown food. I encourage people to read this article and consider buying more food from local farmers.

Of course, another option is to plant a garden ourselves or share part of a local community garden, which are becoming more popular. For families with children, a garden can be an excellent learning experience along with an economical way to provide food for the family’s table.