A Guide to the Christian Food Movement

There is now an impressive and ever-growing body of work addressing faith-based environmentalism and the theology of ecology. By comparison, very little has been written about the theology of food and eating.  It is an area ripe for further work and, of course, is a particular interest of mine.

So I was excited to discover recently a resource that will be helpful to advocates, activists, scholars, pastors and anyone else interested in exploring what’s happening in the food and faith world.

Episcopal priest Nurya Love Parish has led the way in creating a “Faith/Farm/Food network” aimed at “cultivating resilient communities through gardening and agriculture,” and at working to “create a more just and sustainable food system which reflects the abundance and grace of God.” She has produced and just released a “Guide to the Christian Food Movement,” which collects and identifies organizations and individuals working the intersection of Christianity and food.  It is an excellent resource and is available as a free download HERE.

It seems to me that our society is becoming increasingly aware of and sensitive to the moral and ethical implications of our food choices. But, strangely, faith communities seem to have been by and large absent from that conversation.

I’m encouraged by the evidence showing that is changing.


8 comments on “A Guide to the Christian Food Movement

  1. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, churches not only are absent from the playing field of the nutritious food movement but fly in the face of it with there potluck dinners where they encourage over eating. Don’t get me wrong, I do love those grandma’s and their signature dishes that they are known to bring. Not very many potluck dishes are nutritional body building foods. I love potluck dinners and I’m afraid that I can’t control myself and do over eat when I attend one. Sadly, I try to stay away from them because of my lack of control. I would never indicate that those potluck dinners are my down fall but it is totally my lack of self control that is at fault. I’m still a work in progress and food seems to be a stubborn thing that is difficult for me to bring under submission.

    For me the whole nutritious food movement boils down to me and my food decisions. Yes, there are many distractions and temptations at every turn but ultimately, it’s my choice about what goes into my body. I’m getting better but still have a long way to go before food isn’t an issue.

    Have a great Christian food day.


    • Bill says:

      We live in a culture that regularly promotes poor food choices and attaches no moral stigma to them. Studies show that regular church-going people are more likely to make poor food choices (and suffer the resulting health consequences) than non-churchgoers. And pastors tend to be worse about it than their congregations. This is a major disconnect from traditionally accepted teachings of the Church. According to one study gluttony is now an accepted vice. Meanwhile many churches continue to insist that in other areas of life people should exercise self-control, all the while being themselves seemingly unable to control the most basic of human appetites. I have a section on this in my book, so I’ll save most of what I have to say about it until it is published. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so interesting, I didn´t know there was a christian enviromental movement. I think spirituality is going to be of much more importance to people in the future, there is a growing sense (I sense) in the population at general, people are searching for meaning, deeper meaning, and the spiritual/religious communities really have something to offer here. I´m happy to hear that this is happening!


    • Bill says:

      I share your belief. I believe there is a deep and increasing yearning for the divine–the sense of mystery, wonder and the interconnectedness of all things. Our modern culture tends to alienate us from those things and I think there is a growing rejection of that alienation.

      Among Christians there is a vibrant and growing environmental movement, across all segments of the faith. It is particularly strong among young people, who want an embodied faith. I find it encouraging.


  3. EllaDee says:

    Truly interesting. I don’t encounter faith communities in my life, and I’m not sure in Australia it’s quite as common as the US. Surely though it’s a great idea for leaders of any group to be educated in Good Food and guide their members positively. It’s quite possible that like many of us, they haven’t realised what Big Food has been doing under our noses and the very real impact. After all at the most basic level even loaves and fishes aren’t what they once were.


    • Bill says:

      I’m smiling at your loaves and fishes reference. Today the list of ingredients in the loaves would make it look like some mad scientist made them.

      Industrial food depends upon behavior and techniques that should offend any thinking person with a conscience. This should not be escaping faith communities. I have my theories for why it has, but I’m optimistic that the tide is turning.


  4. “Praise the Lord” and pass the turnips. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s