Food and Faith is a blog of the Presbyterian Hunger Program.
My high school mascot was the Cornjerker, which was a big ear of corn that ran out on the field (you can’t make this stuff up). So as I think about food and farms it is to that traditional back drop of the small family farm in communities where I was raised.
Whenever Presbyterians approach our food and farm policies, we can hang our hats on our faith conviction “that God our Creator has made the world for everyone, and desires that all shall have daily bread” (UPCUSA, Minutes, 1979, p. 189). This underlying conviction of a right to food shapes our advocacy about agriculture and the food system.
With this value in mind, you can weigh in on the Farm Bill debates that are heating up in our nation’s capital ~ Write to your Senators about the Farm Bill today! This link takes you straight to the PCUSA which allows you to reach your Senators in less than a minute. Seriously. Time yourself.
"Why would I do that? you ask . . .
Well, our nation’s food and farm policies, as embodied in the U.S. Farm Bill, impact people and communities from rural America, to urban centers, to developing countries - hundreds of millions of people! In the current budget climate, the Farm Bill’s limited resources must be targeted effectively where the need is greatest. We must prioritize programs and policies that curb hunger and malnutrition, support vibrant agricultural economies in rural communities, and promote the sustainable use of natural resources.
The PC(USA) Office of Public Witness has joined with the interfaith community to call for a Farm Bill that promotes local food security in the U.S. and around the world, strengthen rural communities, and care for the land as God’s creation.
The Senate is currently debating the reauthorization of the Farm Bill – the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 – and consideration promises to drag out for over a week, as hundreds of amendments will be offered. Your Senators need to hear from you about a just and healthy Farm Bill.
The letter will do this automatically, but let's lay out the important issues. What we want is a Farm Bill that:
U.S. food and agricultural policy must focus on adopting best agricultural practices that put the health of its citizens, the land and the livelihood of farmers and farm workers over the interests of a small number of large, industrial agriculture operations. Stand up to protect not only farmers, without whom we would all go hungry, but to enact a food and farm bill that fairly and judiciously serves the interests of all Americans.
In a 1985 statement, the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly wrote “we believe it is the responsibility and duty of the Federal government to enact a comprehensive, long-term food and fiber policy, with specific price, production and conservation goals designed to protect and enhance family-farm agriculture in the United States … We believe further that this nation must establish a strong system of sustainable agriculture and prevent the continuing concentration of land in the hands of a smaller and smaller number of owners” (Minutes, 1985, p. 399).
You're still reading? Click here and register your beliefs with your civil servants sitting in Congress.
Today, June 5th, is not only the transit of Venus in front of the sun, but it is also when all these things are happening:
Better late than never, right?
On June 18-22, Environmental Ministries staffer, Rebecca Barnes-Davies will attend the People’s Summit with the World Council of Churches delegation. She will be watching the development at the UNCSD, learning from workshops at the People's Summit, and blogging on Eco-Justice Journey for Presbyterians about her experiences while in Rio. She hopes this will help us gain a better global understanding of our call to care for God’s creation, even as we continue our local efforts in our own places.
So to help celebrate the day, perhaps you might:
And since this is the Food and Faith Blog, learn about the connections between food and climate and climate and food.
Finally, contact me at Andrew.KangBartlett@pcusa.org if you want to be on the next Open Food Justice Call--Thursday, June 14 at 4:00 pm eastern time. The theme is, yup, "Climate Change: Why Food Matters A LOT!"
Deffenbaugh writes, “Buber recognizes in a very practical way that our experience of nature is often unexceptional and routine. How quickly we take for granted the enchanting beauty of the mountains or the rolling streams we see everyday. How easily they become objects in our world. But there are moments, Buber suggests, when a person can hear in crisp tones the enigmatic language of the fields, can for a brief time - often just an instant - delve beneath the It-world and come face to face with the Eternal You.
When my daughter was in kindergarten, she would inspect her friends' strawberries at lunchtime. “No no, you don’t want to eat that,” she would solemnly inform them. “It’s not organic. It might have yucky chemicals on it.”
Yucky chemicals indeed. Studies continue to pile up showing how pesticides on food can be harmful, especially to children's health. As we head into the home stretch of the holiday feast season, I've been thinking hard about the powerful ripple effects of our food choices. Turns out, what we eat matters. A lot. (from Pesticides Action Network's "Power on our plates")
Take, for example, my daughter's now-favorite veggie, spinach: USDA found residues of 48 pesticides on their official samples. Of these, 25 are suspected to interfere with human hormones, eight are linked to cancer, eight are neurotoxins and 23 are toxic to honeybees. Yucky. Knowing all this makes the organic spinach from our local farm taste especially good.