World Hunger: Buy
There's no such thing as a free lunch, but what about one that's almost free? Especially when you're pinched for time, that juicy burger on the value menu is looking like a great idea. But if we stop to take a moment to consider the real cost of our purchase, will we find that the value menu doesn't necessarily line up with our values?
Or what about the can of ground coffee, or that bunch of yellow bananas in the supermarket? Could the fruit, coffee, burgers - any and all of the food we purchase and consume possibly have anything to do with our faith-fueled commitments to feeding the hungry, or loving our neighbor, or stewardship of creation? Can food say something about the way we want to live with others and with creation, or is it just...something we eat?
Sharing the gospel, restoring broken communities, tending to the "least of these" - all reflect our desire to walk in God's ways. And yes, even in something as simple as what we put on our tables can indeed reflect our values of justice and fairness, care of creation, and love for our neighbors.
So when it comes to spreading the table for your next family feast, ask some questions about your food. Who harvested the vegetables on your plate and is a fair wage reflected in their cost? Where did it come from and how far would it have had to travel to reach your table? If it is an animal product, how was the animal fed and housed? Were conservation or sustainable practices used? Is the farm or factory where the food was produced good for the community where it is housed?
- Purchasing items certified Fair Trade means that the people who worked to produce the product (typically farmers from poor nations) are guaranteed a fair wage, safe working conditions, and use environmentally sustainable practices. Look for the black and white label in both the US and Canada.
- These websites give info on family-owned farms, restaurants and farmers markets near you committed to sustainable practices: Eat Well Guide and Local Harvest.
- Strike up a conversation with a farmer at your local farmer's market. You may even discover that you can volunteer at the farm, a great way to learn about how you food is produced!
- The supermarket isn't the only place to get your food - think about starting a community garden with your church, or even digging a plot in your own backyard. Check with your local food banks and shelters to see if they can accept your fresh produce and vegetables.
- Browse Justice Seekers for conversations from other CRC folk interested in food and justice.