hunger and the ethics of food

last summer i read The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan. reading through the research experiences of michael pollan changed the way i viewed food, or what our culture views as “food”, the system by which our “food” finds it way to the establishments we purchase our food from, and changed the types of food i chose to consume. i started to become a bit of a foodie, but it was the ethics of food that really drew me in. questions such as “grass fed or corn fed?” became a part of my shopping and dining experiences because I had read about the benefits for the environment and the benefits for the animals that are a part of the pasture-based grass-fed system. so i began my attempt to shop according to my new found ethics of food. i quickly found that in order to shop for the types of food i had been reading about would be a little more expensive than i was used to, and i was presented with yet another ethical situation: the class-biased approach of the foodie movement. i shopped at whole foods a couple times and althought the food was stellar, i couldn’t help but wonder if my ethics of food was worth the cost as i walked past a homeless man begging for change in order to buy his next meal.

on our way out of QFC this weekend, my girlfriend and i purchased a Real Change newspaper from one of their vendors and as i scanned the front page on the way home i came across an interview that wrestled with the very same issue and so i thought i would share. if you are still interested in this post, you should read The Locavore’s Dilemma.

Any thoughts?

2 responses to “hunger and the ethics of food

  1. talk about a humbling article…it always blows just how broken our world is. by being good stewards to the soil, do we compromise our witness to the poor and the hungry? is our relationship with humanity more important than our relationship with Creation? i don’t think it’s an either or. if anything, the Christian faith is filled with tensions. to learn to navigate the center course is both difficult and necessary. i don’t think caring for our bodies and the land is wrong in and of itself, but if it is unjust to the poor and hungry of the earth, then maybe it’s time to ask how this balance can be found…so many questions…

    • agreed. a very humbling article, and many questions to be asked. i have had a hard time with this one because i love good food, and i love cooking with good food. then after doing the reading that i did and learning just how screwed up some parts of our modern food system are, i knew there were some changes i had to make as far as companies or types of systems that i would support with my choice of what to eat. but then i have been trying to balance that with providing reasonably priced/nutritious food for the poor and the hungry among us. definitely some tension.

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