Food and Faith is a blog of the Presbyterian Hunger Program.
Thanks to my roommate’s luck with winning tickets, we attended a great film series event the other night showing the documentary, Eating Alabama. The premise around the film was to capture all the trials and tribulations that the filmmaker and his wife had while trying to eating only food found in their home state of Alabama for one year. This concept is nothing new to the food movement in fact people have been doing it for a while now, take Barbara Kingsolver and her record in, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.” However something in particular moved me that night. Granted it could have been the glass of wine with dinner but the film, despite its comical nature, brought tears to my eyes.
Our pastoral view of society is gone and now it’s a game to try to eat like our not too distant relatives? And not just any game. A very hard, tedious, well planned one. The disconnect we have from the very land we stand on and the air we breathe is immense. A quote from Norman Wirzba, sums it up perfectly: “Once we have forgotten or denied our biological kinship with the earth and its inhabitants it is hardly an accident that so much of human spiritual life is premised on an escape from rather than an affirmation of life.” It is an overwhelming sad thought to think about how far removed we are from the consequences of our thoughtless daily actions. I often find myself thinking how the heck did we get here?
We live in a world where convenience and speed are top priority which makes for little time for an investigation of what’s on the dinner plate. Cheap, quick, and uninformed seem to be the new American values. Sometimes it’s hard to not get angry and overwhelmed with the situation. Once you remove that naïve veil and are exposed to the vast amount of problems this world holds it’s hard to not carry that burden personally. Sometimes it feels as though I’m a pack mule carrying load for a month long trip.
The true personal trick I've found to help get by is finding a glimpse of hope to help you battle through it. It’s about changing your approach from unrealistically being the knight in shining armor battling every issue to taking it one day at a time. It’s not about one person changing the world instead it’s about empowering individuals so collectively we can make a difference. It’s treating everyone, stated by the wonderful NC3, as “creative, resourceful, and whole.” The world is a hard and an overwhelming place to take on your own but with the help of others it helps ease that burden and it’s one you can collectively share. It’s a refreshing thought to know that I’m part of a team full of energizing, inspiring people who are the utmost of “creative, resourceful, and whole” and that I am thankful for. Knowing you aren't going at it alone can be the refresher you need to keep chiseling away one day, one mind, one experience at a time.
Whitney is currently serving as a PHP VISTA in Indianapolis combating food justice issues one day at a time. Originally from Kentucky, she day dreams of getting back to her roots, diggin' up some dirt, and living the so called simple life.