Left Justified: The stomach and your soul

Stanley Campbell

By Stanley Campbell

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” or at least that’s what I was told. With the variety of food that is in the shopping malls, my heart is where the fresh vegetables and fruits are. And, that’s why Rockford Urban Ministries (RUM) is happy to co-sponsor a program called “Faith at the End of Your Fork.” It’s an all-day workshop Saturday, April 28, hosted at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 1829 Rockton Ave. (that’s the church across from West Middle School). Anna Lappe, who wrote Diet for a Hot Planet, will be the keynote speaker in the afternoon. It’s affordable, at $10 for the all-day workshops and speaker, and then another $10 if you want to join in the organic lunch.

People should be interested in what they eat. It’s what keeps us alive. Unfortunately, it’s what also keeps the economy going.

Whenever there’s an economic interest, there’s a chance for cutting corners and sometimes outright fraud. If this were a perfect world, we would have good food available at affordable prices throughout the community; but some neighborhoods only have fast food and others have food sprayed with pesticides to prevent bugs from eating first.

We are blessed here in Rockford with organic farmers and markets that offer good quality, affordable products; and we don’t have to go out of our way to find them. But that depends upon an educated consumer. So, that’s why RUM sponsored this all-day program, hoping to encourage more careful perusals of the food stalls and maybe even get the big producers like Walmart to sell healthy fare.

Faith at the End of Your Fork,” a day-long workshop program, will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 28, at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 1829 N. Rockton Ave., Rockford, across from West High School. Cost is $10 registration and $10 for a healthy lunch.

Lappe wrote Diet for a Hot Planet as a sequel to her mother’s (Frances Moore Lappe) Diet for a Small Planet. Anna connects the dots between diet and climate change and, thus, shares personal, local, national and international food justice issues.

Workshops include information about Food and Faith (“My Spiritual Journey as a Vegetarian,” “To Tithe: Plant Row,” “Bread in Empire: The Lord’s Prayer”); Food Practicum (“Starting Your Own Garden,” “Shopping at a Farmers’ Market,” “Purchasing Faithful Meals”); and Food Justice Workshops (“How to Lobby for Food Justice,” “The Meatrix”), to name a few. Registration is $10 and includes an organic lunch for a $10 donation.

Sponsors include the Justice and Witness Committee of the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ, Vegetarians in Motion, RUM, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, the United Church of Byron, Bread for the World — Rockford, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and Spring Creek United Church.

For more information and to register, please contact Michael Mulberry, United Church of Byron, at (815) 234-8777 or via e-mail to revmikemul@frontier.com. Stay healthy, and live a long and prosperous life.

Stanley Campbell is executive director of Rockford Urban Ministries and spokesman for Rockford Peace & Justice.

From the April 11-17, 2012, issue

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