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  • Writer's pictureCarina Hopen

Beyond the Table

March marks the celebration of National Nutrition Month®, an initiative started by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 1973. This annual event encourages us to reflect on our food choices and to foster habits that enhance our well-being and physical activity.

The theme for 2024, "Beyond the Table," invites us to broaden our perspective on nutrition. It's about understanding the journey of food from its origins to our plates and recognizing the variety of settings in which we consume our meals. From appreciating the process of food production and distribution to making informed choices at grocery stores, and even considering our food's environmental impact, this theme encourages a holistic view of nutrition. It reminds us that making sustainable choices can significantly impact our health and the planet.

"Beyond the Table" challenges us to think about our relationship with food in a comprehensive way. It's an invitation to look beyond the immediate context of eating and consider the broader implications of our food choices. This theme emphasizes the importance of awareness about how food is produced, where it comes from, and how these factors influence our health and the environment.

Why is this important? Knowledge empowers us to make informed decisions. By understanding the impact of our food choices, we can opt for practices that benefit our health and support environmental sustainability. For example, choosing locally sourced vegetables or reducing food waste are simple actions that contribute to a larger positive effect on our planet.

This theme also acknowledges the diverse circumstances under which we consume food. Whether it's a quick lunch at the office, a family dinner, or a meal out with friends, each situation offers an opportunity to make mindful choices that align with our health goals and ethical considerations.

Sustainability might seem like a daunting concept, but it boils down to making choices that ensure the long-term health of our planet and ourselves. It involves being conscious of how our eating habits affect the world around us and taking steps, no matter how small, towards more sustainable practices.

In essence, "Beyond the Table" is about connecting the dots between our food, our health, and the environment. It's a call to engage with our food choices more deeply, understanding their origins, their impact, and the benefits of adopting a more thoughtful approach to eating.


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