Zadok Perspectives is the quarterly journal of Ethos: Centre for Christianity and Society. It’s an award winning publication well worth a subscription. When it comes to issues of food, the latest instalment ‘Faithful Eating in an Unjust World’ is certainly worth a look.
It includes some terrific articles on the big issues of agriculture and globalised food production from a distinctly Christian perspective. Economist, homemaker and community farmer Dianne Brown explores the contrast between industrial and sustainable agriculture and the Christian commitments relevant to our choices: the stewardship of creation, intergenerational justice, equity for agricultural communities and living humbly with the limits of human knowledge. Similarly, Jonathan Cornford (PhD), the founder of Manna Gum, provides a succinct biblical perspective on the challenges of global and local agriculture into the future. Both pieces are a challenging read.
There are other articles that address the more personal and local application of faith to what and how we eat. There’s Alison Sampson’s regular column on Everyday Spirituality prodding us toward ways we can ‘choose life’ in our shopping, cooking and eating; Paul Tyson’s and Paul Crother’s encouragements to acts of ‘micro-resitence’ in the face of large scale food production and supply; Dominique Emery’s testimony of juggling ethics, cost, nutritional needs and taste in the family home; an interview with Nick Ray on ethical shopping; and Kim Cornford’s inspiring story of neighbourhood food production and sharing.
For me, the highlight of the issue is Dianne Brown’s stories of two farmers, Giuseppe in Tuscany (France), and David in central Victoria (Australia). Though on different sides of the world, both are working land that has been in their families for generations, and both are on the slow journey toward more sustainable farming practices. Their stories are a moving account of the extraordinary cost of change, the risks inherent to ‘radical’ action, and the layers of complexity in the economic, social and cultural challenges that are part and parcel of their journey. More than anything, it’s a reminder to people like me of just how easy it is to talk and how challenging it is to act.