Do You Know Any April Fish?

By James J. Gormley

Pope Gregory XIII

In 16th-century France, the start of the new year was observed on April 1st. It was celebrated like our New Year’s Eve is celebrated today. In 1562, however, Pope Gregory introduced a new calendar for the Christian world, and the new year then fell on January 1st.

There were some people, though, who hadn’t heard about the new date for New Year’s, or who didn’t believe it. They continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1st. Other people thought that this was worthy of fun, and so played tricks on those April New Year’s revellers, calling them “April fools.” The New Year’s cognoscenti would send their supposedly less-enlightened friends on a “fool’s errand” or would try to make them believe that something false was true.


Gregorian Calendar

In France, today, April 1st is called “Poisson d’Avril,” or April Fish. French children try to fool their friends by taping a paper fish to their friends’ backs. When the “young fool” discovers the trick, the mischief maker yells “Poisson d’Avril!”

I often look at those agencies or organizations which will not recognize the power of nutritional healing as April fools. The world has changed, so they should get with the program! In the last century, especially after World War II, science and understanding of nutrition have grown by leaps and bounds.

Unfortunately, there are still those holdouts — some of whom sit on the Food and Nutrition Board, some of whom serve as public health officials, some of whom direct national heart- and diabetes-focused organizations, and some of whom claim to be science-based but are bought and paid for by big business.

I sometimes wonder what it could conceivably take to convince these holdouts as to the power of nutrition and holistic strategies to improve the health of the world. How many thousands of studies need to be done?

Will there ever be enough data for those whose livelihood, in some cases, seems to be tied to a market that promotes a sterile/unwholesome diet, that promotes the saturation of our earth with toxic pesticides and that prefers synthetic/invasive approaches to “health” over effective self-care options?

While we can’t change these attitudes very easily, we can commit ourselves to be among those who are aware that January 1st is considered New Year’s Day to much of the Western world, in other words — to be among those committed to a way of life that gives more credence to trusting ourselves and proven nutritional/herbal science over those who still buy into what can be called the school of illness care promotion, what is euphemistically termed “healthcare” by some.

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