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October 2019

Food for thought?

Or should it be the other way around.

Writing this when many of our Churches are about to celebrate harvest festivals or have recently done so I am also aware that the topic is rarely absent from one form of media or another.  I am particularly reflecting upon the different emphases of such information, including economics, environment ethics and health and, as I listen to the latest ‘wisdom’, it seems increasingly difficult to hold them in a balance which does not involve conflict between them.  😕

Our food comes from many different sources and even improvements in package (another issue!) labelling do not give us the whole story.  We may have the country of origin but not the type of agricultural system which produced it, what its carbon footprint might be, the degree of exploitation of vulnerable individuals and/or local environment and animal welfare issues (if appropriate).

We live in a complex world and as we are faced with more information the complexity seems to increase and it can be tempting to carry on regardless but it is clear that to do so is unsustainable for our planet and calls for urgent action should not go unheeded.

Any changes we can make may seem like a drop of water in an ocean but when there are many drops it does make a difference.  We have a responsibility to one another and to the global human community as well as having respect for the natural world.  We should acknowledge our dependence on many others and giving thanks for what others have provided for us is a sign of responsibility and respect; reducing our over-consumption and wastage of food is a practical way to demonstrate it.

When we obtain our food perhaps we should focus more closely on what we needrather than what we want and indeed on what we might be able to share.  Our heavenly Father is a generous God and gives us many things for our enjoyment and well-being but also recognises our different needs and situations. All he requires in return is our acknowledgement of his generosity with thankful hearts and to remember that what we do for ourselves may well have an impact on others.

Charles Hill

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