Make July Plastic Free with Catholic Rural Life

From food packaging and clothing, to pipes and hospital equipment, plastic is a part of our daily lives.  To help counteract the negative effects of ubiquitous plastic use, it is helpful to reduce or eliminate our dependence on single-use plastic such as water bottles, grocery bags, and straws. As part of their commitment to care for our common home, Catholic Rural Life challenges us to make the month of July Plastic Free.  Participants are challenged to avoid single-use plastic products, including shopping bags, cups, straws, and packaging.

Read more and accept the challenge on the Plastic Free July website.

Celebrating Food in October

October is a time when many begin thinking of pumpkins, apples, and other fruits of a bountiful harvest. Food advocates in the US promote educational resources on our national food issues, but how can students learn more about sustainable agriculture around the world? Catholic Relief Services provides resources to farmers internationally, and they’re sharing their stories with interested supporters in the US. CRS’s approach to agriculture encourages farmers and communities to work together so everyone can prosper. Read the full story on their website.

October is also National “Farm to School” month! There are a lot of ways you can involve your university in learning about food sustainability and environmental justice. Food Day is on October 24 – it’s a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable and sustainable food. Catholic Rural Life recommends visiting the dedicated Food Day website to see a variety of resources to download. These include tips on planning an event, free tools to publicize your event, helpful fact sheets, or simply tips on how you can eat good, healthy foods. It even includes resources for college campuses and faith organizers! National Catholic Rural Life is mentioned in those resources with specific reference to their helpful Food and Justice study guide.

For more university-specific resources, check out ACCU’s Food Security page.

Food Security and the Fall Harvest

As harvest time rolls around, a lot of colleges and universities are turning their attention toward food security. In the U.S., this generally means shopping at farmers’ markets and promoting farmers’ rights as students attempt to learn the complex inner workings of our country’s food system. Internationally, food issues are even more interwoven and complicated.

Globalize your understanding on food security and what it would take to end world hunger by attending the Global Solidarity Network’s online leaning session, as advertised here. This session builds upon CRS’s 2014 Caritas Internationalis campaign of One Human Family, Food for All (see video below).

Did you know that there is an entire organization dedicated to the betterment of Catholic rural America? Catholic Rural Life (CRL) has a Food & Justice study guide as well as additional resources available on their website.

Magazine Marks 90 Years for Catholic Rural Life

cath rural lifeThe spring issue of the Catholic Rural Life magazine is now available and features a “Q&A” with Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York. He offers his insights into the connection between the Church and the countryside, the life and legacy of CRL founder Archbishop Edwin V. O’Hara, and the continued importance of CRL’s work today.

This 90th anniversary issue also profiles several current CRL members and their committed work on behalf of rural communities, sustainable agriculture, and stewardship of creation. Become a member today and start receiving the seasonal magazine for one year, including this current issue.

Resource on the GMO Debate from Catholic Rural Life

CRL’s role in monitoring the use of GMOs in America features prominently in a recent article from US Catholic. CRL executive director Jim Ennis is noted as emphasizing the need to evaluate GMOs through a moral lens, while board member Ron Rosmann, an Iowa farmer, challenges some of the prevailing wisdom about GMOs’ benefits.

As for the Catholic Church, it has remained somewhere in between– recognizing the potential for GMOs to address world hunger, yet reluctant to give full endorsement to their use. CRL will continue to follow the use of GMOs here in America, always emphasizing an approach to agriculture that takes into account the moral dimensions of food production.

Read the article online here.