Thursday, October 20, 2011

NCRLC Food & Justice Project: Call for a New Food System

The National Catholic Rural Life Conference asks a very important question. Have you wondered why there appears to be an abundance of food produced and yet many people still go hungry. How do we secure food for all? How do we fix a broken economy that allows poverty and hunger to persist?
But the NCRLC does not leave you hanging with that question. The Catholic organization has produced a set of five commentaries that will introduce you to the complexities and problems of our current global food system.

Let me whet your appetite with an excerpt from the third commentary, An agricultural ethic for a global generation
What does it mean for a society to live by an “agricultural ethic”? How do we as a nation determine the values that will guide our agricultural practices? Given that food is essential for life, we can only agree that the primary measure of agriculture is to provide sufficient food for all. But agriculture and food production cannot disregard other concerns, namely the well-being of those who grow and harvest the food -- farmers and farmworkers -- or the integrity of the land to remain productive season after season.
The NCRLC would like a broad dialogue on this question, and has made the commentaries suitable for reproduction in diocesan newspapers and online blogs that are looking for faith-based perspectives on our food system.

And there is a lot more food for thought.  Check out the  NCRLC Food & Justice initiative and the Food Security & Economic Justice study guide.

More (important) homework?  We also recommend this recent feature article from the University of Minnesota: Hope for a Hungry Planet: A four-fold strategy to combat world hunger and environmental degradation.

Okay, I'll give you the answer to the homework assignment.  Here's an excerpt from the article.
"We lose 30 to 40 percent of food on the planet in transit, in restaurants, by being thrown out of refrigerators, and other means," says Jonathan Foley, director of the UM Institute on the Environment. "These are resources that could have been sold. Show me a business that can lose 30-40 percent of its operations and still be profitable. There must be win-win opportunities here."
A lot of food for thought (pardon the pun).

By the way, my thanks to Sister Joan Brown of Albuquerque, who serves on the board of the NCRLC, for passing on this information.

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