NCR Today

How to find the best food at farmers' markets


It's still the peak of the season at most of the nation's farmers' markets. Here are some general questions to ask on first contact with a grower at a Farmers Market:

• Do you grow all of the food products you sell?
• Is your produce organically-grown?
• Are your animals given access to the outdoors? How are they confined?
• Do you use antibiotics, hormones, or arsenic to promote the growth of the
animals on your farm?
• Do you welcome visitors to your farm?

You should be able to ask any questions that you want but a key to getting them answered well is how you ask them. Your tone of voice and the way you ask the question can make all the difference.

“Do you have a minute to answer a question? I’m really interested in finding out if you grow/raise your food using organic or sustainable practices.” is likely to get you a better response than a short “Is your stuff organic?” Here’s why.

John Swomley, long time pacifist, dead at 95


John Swomley, an old friend, pacificist, and long time NCR supporter died Aug. 16 at the age of 95.

A couple years back, I was asked to write a tribute to this gentle souled, radical. The following tribute appeared in The Human Quest magazine:

'Pacificism builds on commitment to a free society'

By Thomas Fox

The perpetually restless and rebellious John M. Swomley, theology student turned pacifist turned author, social ethicist and radical activist, eventually found a home as chairperson of the Board of Directors of The Human Quest journal (see story, page XX), a fearless publication where no social force or authority was too large to take on in the name of human freedom.

Iraqi bishop says U.S. betrayed country, Christians suffer most


Ambassador James Nicholson, who represented the Bush administration to the Vatican when the war in Iraq began seven years ago, has often told the story of hosting a delegation of Iraqi bishops in Rome shortly after the 2003 invasion. When Nicholson greeted the bishops at the steps of the ambassador’s residence, as he tells the story, they said to him, “Thank you for liberating our country.”

t That may have been their sentiment seven years ago, but the bishops seem to be singing a different tune today as the U.S. withdraws its final contingents of combat troops.

tThe United States has “betrayed its duty to bring peace and security” to Iraq, according to Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni of Baghdad, in an interview on Friday with the Italian daily La Stampa. The Americans leave behind “an Iraq worse off than the one they found seven years ago,” said Warduni, who’s widely regarded as the most charismatic voice among the Iraqi bishops.

tThe following is an NCR translation of Warduni’s interview with Giacomo Galeazzi of La Stampa.

Do you consider the war in Iraq a failure?

Update: South Bend bishop not meeting ND president about gay alumni club


In a blog Aug. 17 I reported receiving a news release from Thomas Field, a member of a gay and lesbian alumni club of Notre Dame, in which Field said he had been informed by an official of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese that Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, head of that diocese, would discuss the club’s request for official recognition by the university when he meets with the president of Notre Dame this fall.

If you go back to that blog, you will find Field has posted a note there saying that after he sent out the news release he received a voice mail response from Rhoades saying the news release was wrong – the bishop will not be discussing the club’s request with Holy Cross Fr. John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president.


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May 19-June 1, 2017