Do you know
- what crops are grown commercially in your home county?
- what months of the year those crops are harvested?
- who grew the food you ate for breakfast this morning?
- how much they were paid for their labor?
- how far that food traveled from its source to your table?
If you're like most Americans, the answer to all those questions is no. The fact that most, maybe even all, of us don't know the answer to these questions demonstrates just how highly separated we are from the sources of our food. We don't know who grew it, where it grew, or what methods were used to grow it. This ignorance of the origins of our food is exacerbated when we consider the many layers of production and processing between earth and table that result from our diet of predominantly processed food.
The purpose of this study is to explore why what we eat matters and, therefore, why it matters that we know the sources of our food. We will first consider why Christians in particular should care about knowing the answers to the above questions. By looking at biblical passages about stewardship of creation, care for the poor, and the Lord's Supper, we will touch on some of the reasons Christians should care about issues of food production. After a brief look at these passages, we will explore three concerns regarding our current system of industrial food production. The second session looks at practical steps we can all take to support sustainable food.