Food Ethics

Food is the earthly fountain of life as God is the spiritual fountain of life. They are connected and they are separate.

Three times a day, you are making a choice. The great farmer philosopher Wendell Berry once said that “eating is an agricultural act.” As prayer is a direct connection between you and God, eating is a direct connection between yourself and the soil.

Eating, like spirituality, should not be about dogma, but rather about heart. Where is your heart in that moment you bring the goodness to your lips? What will you bring there? Where did it come from? Does is celebrate the glory of the place in which you live and call home? Does it build or does it destroy?

It is easy to border obsession when it comes to food ethics. As with nutrition and diets, there can be a thin line between orthorexia and true health of body, of soil. It is important to avoid dogma and preserve your mind from this obsession so that your heart can tell you what you are comfortable with based on what you know and what you learn and what you decide.

I do not have a list of strict principles; rather a host of guidelines that I have acquired from both hard factual information and sensual personal experience, combined with my values from being a Christ-follower. They are:

  • I strive to maintain a sense of place. What is growing now in this beautiful region? What bounty can I get here?
  • I strive to be a part of my community. Do I have the ability to eat in a way where I can connect with the grower–buy from them or work for them?
  • I strive to have my home as my gold standard. What I bring in should be the best of the best of foods; subject to the most scrutiny.
  • I strive to eat those foods in which humans, animals, and environment were treated fairly.

I understand different perspectives; I understand the ease of reading a list of rules and following them as some form of righteosness. I just choose not to do that anymore.


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