A Gathering Voices Post by Rev. Ginna Bairby
This Thursday, October 16th, is designated by the United Nations as World Food Day and commemorates the founding of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in 1945. This week, people and organizations around the world will take part in events to learn about the interconnected global food industry and take meaningful action against many of the injustices within that system. Take a moment to think about how you can be involved:
5 ways you can help bring justice to our food system:
1.) Say Grace – Say a blessing over every meal you eat this week. Give thanks and ask for God’s grace to be present with those involved in every step of the process that brought that food to your plate. Pray for those who planted seeds and harvested crops, for those who cared for the livestock, for all involved in the processing and transportation of your food, for those who sold you the food, and for the hands that prepared your meal. See if you start to feel a bit more connected to the food system.
2.) Eat with Intention – Go vegetarian or vegan for the week, try one meal each day – or just for one day! Try to eat as simply and locally as possible. Don’t sweat it if you slip up. Remember, the goal is not purity and perfection but rather long-lasting, sustainable change. Various studies point to the fact that many people making small commitments like one meatless meal a week is ultimately more effective when it comes to food and climate justice than a small number of people committing to completely vegan or vegetarian lifestyles.
3.) Educate Yourself - It's hard to be involved with any justice movement without learning in some depth about the issues. There are plenty of ways to educate yourself about food systems - and fun ways at that! Movies like Food, Inc., Forks over Knives, and A Place at the Table are great introductions to various issues, as are books like Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and The Omnivore's Dilemma.Take some time this week to engage with one of these resources - and have some fun with it!
4.) Treat Every Meal Like Communion – The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper reminds us that ordinary life activities like meals are a participation in the body and blood of Christ and a communion with people around the world. Remember that in the early Church, communion looked more like a group of friends and family sitting down to dinner than the liturgical sacrament with which Christians today are more familiar. Treat every meal you eat this week like Communion. Share as many meals as you can with those around you. Treat every bite and sip as a sharing in the body Christ and the community of the Church.
5.) Join the Presbyterian Hunger Program in daily actions to celebrate the Food Week of Action – The Presbyterian Hunger Program is lifting up food justice every day this week! Check out their resources for worship, education, and action. Join the Facebook event to follow along and participate in daily actions for food justice this week, including a webinar, food justice liturgy, and various opportunities to advocate for food justice on national and international levels.
Are you and/or your community doing something else to celebrate the Food Week of Action and World Food Day? Let others know by entering it here!
Looking for a food justice event going on this week in your community? Check and see if there’s something going on nearby – or see if you can find inspiration for something to initiate yourself!