All of us need to eat. Here in the developed world, many of us eat too much, and often the wrong kinds of things. This has had all kinds of consequences for our health.
One of the things that has been becoming clearer to us over the past few years is the need not only to be careful about what we eat, but also to reconnect with where our food comes from. In past generations, most of our food was supplied locally, so many of us would have had a much clearer connection with somebody who worked the land.
Whether that was an uncle who was a farm hand, or simply the local market gardener, we knew that milk came from cows, and that vegetables usually came with the dirt still on them. We sometimes worry that many children now think that milk comes from supermarkets, and that all carrots are the same shape.
The Church of Scotland report Give Us Our Daily Bread looked at many of the issues that arise from the disconnect between us and where our food comes from. As a society, we have come to view food as another commodity, rather than what it is…a gift brought to us by the work of others, which we need to value.
A lot of local churches have food projects, and encourage their members to get involved, perhaps by giving part of the glebe over to community allotments, for example. Initiatives such as the Fife diet and other similar local projects try to get us to think a bit more deeply about where our food comes from.
The Fife Diet seed truck recently toured many parts of the country, to show each stage of growing and harvesting your own food, and included workshops which cover each main element of soil, sowing, growing, harvest, preparation, cooking and eating. Check out the website for more information.
Let’s not be satisfied with simply eating more healthily. Let’s learn more about the gift of food and the people who work hard to bring that gift to us.