By Bishop Robert Morneau
This article appeared in the June 1999 issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. 64, No. 6, pages 34-37).
According to Catholic Rural Life, what we eat is a moral issue. How do we use an informed conscience to make moral eating decisions?
1. By placing an emphasis on eating and purchasing foods that are good for the planet.
2. By eating and purchasing foods that are good to grow and that benefit soil and water resources.
3. By focusing our purchasing decisions on the common good—what is good and just for farms, farmers, and their workers in terms of health and well being.
4. By asking questions about how food is grown, harvested, and kept safe for us to eat.
The year 2009 was a particularly challenging one for independent farmers like Teri Rosendahl. With the global financial crisis in full swing, small family farms were hit hard, and Rosendahl and her husband, Peter, were forced to mortgage a lot of the equipment they used at Udder Valley Dairy in rural Spring Grove, Minnesota just to get by. But from small daily struggles to major financial obstacles, challenges had simply become a way of life on the small, family-owned dairy farm.
Genetic modification has yielded major changes in the way we grow our food, but concerns are cropping up over whether a bigger harvest means a better—or safer—diet.
Each year it seems like we learn more and more about how big of a deal climate change is. And starting today, representatives from close to 100 different countries will meet in Yokohama, Japan as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and complete a summary to share with world leaders on just how bad the problem might become.
“We’ve gotten away from the real meaning of food, and the power of food,” Michael Pollan told us in a December 2013 interview. The famous food author has helped spur a movement encouraging people to return to using whole, real ingredients in home-cooked meals. He is known for touting a primary rule about food and eating: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
This famous food author insists there’s much to be gained from sitting around the table and sharing a home-cooked meal.
So-called “cheap” energy sources will have a high cost for future generations.
We have been told that we live in a threshold age of energy production, an era when industrialized nations are poised to migrate from the combustion of fossil fuels to a solar- and wind-powered, renewable energy future. That has been the political assurance of the Obama administration and the appealing scenarios served up by energy futurists, even from the marketing departments of the large oil and gas corporations which today call the tune on energy policy.
Students at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia worked together to construct a rain garden outside of their library. The idea took root to help reduce pollution levels in water runoff and to improve water quality on campus. Learn more in this short film about the benefits—both environmental and educational—of their unique garden.