Here’s something of an anomoly that has been puzzling me lately. Most of the sustainable\organic farmers in America are Christians, whose worldviews are greatly influenced by the concept of creation care. Yet a substantial percentage of the consumers who buy from sustainable\organic farmers are not themselves believers, at least in any traditional sense of the word.
I don’t have any data to support those statements, but it seems to me that they are true. In some sense what the producers are doing is worship. But I don’t see that nearly as much in the consumers. I suspect that the “green” movement for many is a fad or style, which may eventually be replaced by something else.
Of course, some consumers, like most producers, favor sustainable\organic food because of their respect for God’s creation. But many of those who frequent Whole Foods and even the local farmers markets, are indifferent to the religious aspects of the sustainable agriculture movement, and would be embarrassed to be associated with the beliefs of the producers. Michael Pollan captured that in Omnivore’s Dilemma, when he described one of Joel Salatin’s regular customers, who was horrified to discover that Joel had the Christian fish symbol by his door. Evidently it had never occured to her that Joel Salatin was a Chrisitian, or that his farming practices flowed naturally from his faith.
I don’t really know why so many organic consumers are unbelievers. As for the producers, it’s easy for me to understand why they believe. I just don’t think it’s possible to tend the earth without experiencing the undeniable truth of God’s love and immediate existence. Maybe a person can buy and eat the food that comes from God’s good earth without having to acknowledge a creator. But I dare anyone to try to practice sustainable agriculture and deny that truth.