March is officially National Nutrition Month, declared by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The idea is to get the word out about healthy eating in communities, workplaces, schools, and homes. This year’s theme is “bite into a healthy lifestyle”. Since National Nutrition Month is an awareness campaign, here are some ways to celebrate this March by raising your own clean-eating awareness.
How long has it been since that requisite health and nutrition class in high school or college? How well can you answer basic food value questions for yourself or your family? How often does processed food baffle you with its nutrition facts, labels, and healthful claims? If your answers are “too long,” “not very well,” and “pretty often,” then it’s time to brush up your knowledge about eating right.
Luckily, we live in a world where a dizzying amount of educational materials and expert knowledge are available to us, free and instantly. Take your knowledge to new heights this March by digging deep into online resources about nutrition.
Search within the TED website for expert talks on the subject. Dr. Joel Fuhrman will blow you away with his passionate plea for a micronutrient-rich diet. Watch TED Prize Winner Jamie Oliver call for an assault on the ignorance of food. New York Times food writer Mark Bittman’s TED Talk bites into the problems of our contemporary diet. Ann Cooper’s fun presentation digs into school lunches for kids.
It’s amazing how many documentaries are at our fingertips and available to stream online. A subscription to Netflix can open a world of entertaining insight about what we eat. If you have Netflix (and you’ve already finished watching your favorite series) then fill up on these food-themed documentaries:
- Forks Over Knives (2011) Learn from food scientists about processed foods as a cause of epidemic rates of obesity and diabetes
- Food, Inc. (2008) A look at the mainstream food industry’s harmful effects on human health and the environment
- More Than Honey (2012) this startling documentary examines the disappearance of honeybee populations worldwide
- Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (2010) Can obesity be reversed? The two men featured in this piece prove it can
- Hungry For Change (2012) A scathing look at the weight loss industry and how they keep consumers hooked
- The Fruit Hunters (2012) A fun journey through the wide world of fruit in all its juicy, colorful glory
- Farmageddon (2011) An alarming tale of small-scale farms that were forced out of business
- GMO OMG (2013) A family man’s quest to understand the raging debate about genetically modified food
- Vegucated (2010) A look at what happens when three meat and cheese loving New Yorkers go vegan for six weeks
Free Online Courses
Ever heard of a MOOC? It stands for Massive Open Online Courses – university courses available free to anyone online. Find a nutrition class for your inner undergrad student on edX or Coursera. A course called “The Ethics of Eating” began on edX on April 15, 2015. Enrollment is now open. On Coursera, a class from Stanford University called “Child Nutrition and Cooking” is offered on an ongoing basis, self-paced. National Nutrition Month is the time to do it.
Intelligence Squared Debates
In the spirit of classic debate, Intelligence Squared gathers panels of experts on an array of controversial topics to verbally duke out the pros and cons. The winning side is the one who persuades a higher percent of the audience. For the geeks who were on debate team in high school – or anyone who likes a well-evidenced battle of wits – check out the debate archive. You’ll find several nutrition-related debates to watch, such as “Genetically Modify Food”, “Don’t Eat Anything With A Face” “Organic Food Is Marketing Hype” and “Obesity Is The Government’s Business.” Be prepared to get riled up and take a stand – that’s the whole point.
How Else Can You Celebrate?
If you can already claim expert status on nutrition and win any health food debate, here are few more ways to celebrate National Nutrition Month:
- Splurge on premium produce to get brighten up the end of winter
- Throw a healthy food themed get-together
- Prepare a nutritious snack for your workplace
- Share a wholesome recipe with the hashtag #NationalNutritionMonth
- Treat yourself to fresh kitchen gadgets for more fun with fruits and veggies
Hello, I am Cristy. I love cooking but what I love most is keeping my kitchen tools and appliances top notch. I enjoy writing about everything I have learned around the kitchen. I believe that keeping your kitchen tools well cleaned and maintained produces the best dishes and drinks. Besides writing and cooking I enjoy traveling, camping, hiking and music.