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  2. Mar 12, 2024

Faith, Food, and Health Plant-Based Cooking Classes Launch This Spring

Faith, Food, and Health

The Food for Life: Faith, Food, and Health plant-based nutrition and cooking classes, designed to promote wellness in faith communities, are celebrating the interfaith holiday season.

New series and classes will be added throughout the spring to provide faith communities with nutrition education and practical cooking tips and recipes to help prevent or overcome heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and other chronic health conditions with a plant-based diet.

Food for Life instructor Charles Smith, a pastor at New Horizon Church International in Jackson, Miss., who will be teaching a series beginning March 19, is testimony to the power of faith-based nutrition interventions. Charles’ effort to improve his diet began 20 years ago at his church, where he and his wife Gail serve as children’s pastors. After a one-month no-meat fast, Charles experienced a new level of energy and never returned to eating meat. In the years that followed, he removed more animal products from his diet, going from following a pescatarian, to vegetarian, and finally, a vegan diet. He soon began teaching cooking classes at his church, before becoming a Food for Life instructor.

“Places of worship offer people a place to feed their souls,” says Charles Smith. “Bringing Food for Life classes into faith communities also helps them learn to feed their bodies with foods that can improve their health and help them live longer, fuller lives.”

Churches and faith organizations have become essential partners in the effort to reduce health disparities, according to research published in the Annual Review of Public Health, which found that church-based health promotion demonstrated significant effects on nutrition. Research shows that faith-based health interventions can increase fruit and vegetable consumption and have significant effects on reductions in cholesterol, blood pressure levels, and weight.

Designed by physicians, nurses, and dietitians, Food for Life classes promote healthful plant-based eating based on the latest scientific research. Each class includes information about how certain foods and nutrients work to promote or discourage disease, cooking demonstrations of delicious and healthful plant-based recipes, and practical cooking skills and tips for incorporating healthful eating habits into daily life.

Food for Life is a collaborative effort among health experts who have joined together to educate the public about the benefits of a healthful diet for weight management and disease prevention. Based in Washington, D.C., Food for Life is a program of the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

If you know of a faith community in your area that might be interested in offering Food for Life classes, please email info [at] (info[at]fflclasses[dot]org).

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