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It's Potluck Sunday. I stand near the end of a long line wondering what will be left by the time I get to the front, grateful that I'm not particularly hungry. I have some idea of what the offerings will be: hot dogs wrapped in white buns, cut in half for the more delicate appetites; buckets of drive-through fried chicken anchoring the table. Neon-orange cheese doodles will inevitably show up, somewhere near the salads. The greenest item will be several bowls of lime Jell-O with fruit suspended in it, which, I've decided, is to signal its inobvious function as food.

We pray our thanks over this smorgasbord of chemical wizardry and marketing genius, ask that it would strengthen our bodies (something I believe will take divine intervention), and invite Jesus to be among us as we eat.

When we lift our heads, I consider this last request and wonder, surveying the tables: What would Jesus put on his plate? Would Jesus eat lime Jell-O and cheese doodles? Would he care that the chicken in the bucket came from cages where the birds were likely fed their own recycled excrement? Would he eat that barbequed pork that came from massive pig farms that pollute the water, soil, and air? Would he stand, as I do, filled with guilt, dread, and judgment before this culinary minefield?

I think a lot about food these days, and not always charitably. I've been ruminating on the headlines and a recent crop of food books concerning what many are calling "the global food crisis," one that has given rise to a new food movement in the United States and abroad. The movement has taken on the momentum of a religious revival, changing the way Americans eat and how they think about food and the use of the earth. Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation; Michael ...

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hide thisNovember November

In the Magazine

November 2010

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