Eating to God's Glory
It is hard for me to imagine a more informed, balanced, and fair treatment of the issues surrounding food and faith than Leslie Leyland Fields's "A Feast Fit for the King" [November]. It is too easy for Christians to become obsessed with eating food that is green, sustainable, and local, or contrariwise, to dismiss the whole discussion as distracting from our goal to spread the gospel. Both need to be kept in mind. Leslie has opened up a fruitful topic for thoughtful discussion. I hope this engenders more of the same.
I applaud Fields for asking us to think critically and prayerfully about what we eat. I'd add that the case for food integrity becomes more compelling given the persistence of human slavery in the supply chains of many grocery stores and restaurant chains. Consider the seven sets of federal convictions for human trafficking in Florida agriculture alone in the past decade. Like the Christian church of the 18th century, we need to remember the high cost of inexpensive goods.
What about all the Scripture passages that address feeding the hungry? Through the green revolution, involving chemical fertilizer and other modern farming techniques, countries such as India have become more self-sustaining in feeding their populations. If I were a farmer and knew parts of the world depended on my production not to starve, it's clear what my moral obligation would be.
Also, what about keeping food affordable for the poor, especially the working poor? It's one thing for those who can afford to be picky about what they eat. It's another to tell the working poor that their food dollar is not going to buy as much because someone mandates shutting down chicken factories. The mandate to care for the earth includes ...1