Let’s talk about food…

Have you heard of Michael Pollen? I’ve taken to calling him a prophet in that I believe he speaks a word of God to us in our day. Michael is a writer and his topic is food. He also has a great four part series on Netflix called “Cooked”. In all his work he reminds us of the goodness of real food (the kind we cook at home with real ingredients and then eat with friends and family around a table) and warns us of the problems associated with industrial food (the stuff with chemicals we can’t name).
This food issue is political, it is economic, it is a health issue, it relates to climate change; it is a fundamental life issue and therefore is a faith issue.
Let me give you a few examples from Michael Pollen’s work: 1. He tells the story of Australian aborigines who were moved from their traditional lands into an urban context. There they ate western foods (ie. they drank pop and ate KFC) and developed type 2 diabetes. Doctors asked some of them to return to the land and more a traditional life style. Those that did were cured of their diabetes within 6 weeks. 2. He tells the story of bread and how in order to have whiter bread that lasts forever on a shelf we stripped bread of all its nutrients. We increasingly hear of gluten allergies and intolerance and this is directly related to the way we make bread today. Real bread has 3 ingredients (water, flour, salt). Wonder bread has over 30 ingredients.
In our faith we talk about the golden rule: love of God, neighbour, and self. I believe the food issue holds out a concrete way for us to live this golden rule. To love God is love creation, to treat the land and its creatures with respect. To love neighbour is to insure that all have access to good, real food. To love self is to be mindful of what we are putting into our own bodies. Faithful living takes the food issue seriously.
If you haven’t read or watched Michael’s books or show, do so. They are great and uplifting and empowering. He’ll have you baking bread and sautéing vegetables in no time. And in so doing you’ll be living more faithfully!