Backs FAO’s call for healthy diets, and says human person, not money, must be center of attention
In an annual note to the director general of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, to mark World Food Day, the pope noted that food is “ceasing to be a means of subsistence and turning into an avenue of personal destruction.”
So, he pointed out, while “820 million of the world’s people suffer from hunger” another “almost 700 million are overweight, victims of improper dietary habits.”
He lamented that these 700 million are not just among the rich, but also increasingly in poor countries, but that those who are overweight are often eating little, but poorly, with poor nutrition.
This reality calls for a conversion in our way of living and acting, and nutrition represents an important starting point.
Our lives depend on the fruits of creation (cf. Ps 65:10-14; 104:27-28); these cannot be reduced to mere objects to be recklessly handled and used. Nutritional disorders can only be combatted by the cultivation of lifestyles inspired by gratitude for the gifts we have received and the adoption of a spirit of temperance, moderation, abstinence, self-control and solidarity. These virtues, which have accompanied the history of humanity, summon us to a more simple and sober life, and unfailing concern for the needs of those around us.
The pope praised the FAO’s attention on rural families and family farming, noting that especially women and mothers, and families, enable us to “learn how to enjoy the fruits of the earth without abusing it.”
Referring to the theme of this year, “Our actions are our future: Healthy diets for a #ZeroHunger World,” he said he hoped this would “remind us that many continue to eat in an unhealthy way.”
It is a cruel, unjust and paradoxical reality that, today, there is food for everyone and yet not everyone has access to it, and that in some areas of the world food is wasted, discarded and consumed in excess, or destined for other purposes than nutrition.
Francis emphasized that the human person, not profit, has to be placed at the center of attention, so that food is given its due importance.
And, he stressed, “We must come to realize that what we are accumulating and wasting is the bread of the poor.”
Read more: 7 Healthy foods that Jesus ate
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?