Food, Farming and Faith

It seems ridiculous that I've been at a loss for blog material, while I'm discovering new recipes, insight into sustainable agriculture and growing as a writer through my grad coursework. So today will be my inaugural "Sharing What I'm Learning Day!"

One of the classes I've had the opportunity to take this semester is a class entitled, Religion, Community & Food. For the past two weeks we've specifically been looking at agriculture in the Bible. Mostly, looking at authors who are making the claim that as Christians, we in particular, should be some of the largest advocates for sustainable agriculture.

In the very first chapter of the Bible, God creates the heavens, the earth and "The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it" (Genesis 2:15). It's interesting to note that the world God intended for all of humankind revolved around tending and caring for the garden. In reading Genesis, it's also worth noting three principles of Biblical stewardship that Gary Fick discusses in his book, Food, Farming and Faith: 1: All of creation belongs to God, 2. God has handed over the earth's care to mankind, 3. God holds us accountable for cultivating and caring for the earth.

Obviously, contemporary agriculture is a far cry from this harmonious and beautiful relationship between man and the rest of creation. Industrial farms are all we know and people have become reliant on technology to solve every natural process they deem inconvenient. Meanwhile, the soil is degrading, species are becoming extinct and we routinely subject ourselves to dangerous poisons via chemical pesticides.

One other point that Fick makes in his book that resonated with me is that to invest in a sustainable food system is not only an act of love toward the Creator but an act of love toward our neighbor (in the sense that the term, "neighbor" transcends generations). If we truly desire to follow Jesus' command to love God and love your neighbor as yourself, one of the most important things we can do for both is to protect the environment and "eat today, so that others may eat tomorrow."

We've become so far removed from our food, and so disconnected with Creation all around us. The abusive relationship we've maintained with our environment cannot last. All around us, we are surrounded by beautiful acts of God and it is time we begin regarding it as such.

Just some things that have been on my mind. Stay tuned for more food for thought to come. Pun obviously intended.

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