Friday, July 28, 2017

A Food Movement based on Catholic Principles

“Give us this day, our daily bread,” we pray. How can we let Christ live through us in a way that better helps to ensure the world’s hungry receive their daily bread? This question is one that necessitates seeing ourselves as interconnected with our brothers and sisters across the world, so we can maintain the spiritual stamina needed to create a more equitable food system.   -Kelly Moltzen
Kelly Moltzen,  a board member of the  Franciscan Action Network, recently wrote a guest author in the The Christian Food Movement blog, on how faithc communities can build a food system based on Catholic principles. She suggests such a plan would follow five guidelines offered by  the Good Food Purchasing Policy of the Center for Good Food Purchasing:
  • local economies, 
  • environmental sustainability, 
  • valued workforce,
  • animal welfare
  • nutrition.  
How do you put these five principles into practice?  Moltzen gives us an example from Church of the Blessed Sacrament on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City.

"Picture this: going to church and picking up a farm share with food grown on an organic and biodynamic farm owned by a religious congregation, and having surplus food that is grown be donated to the church’s food pantry or soup kitchen, thanks to the support of other parishioners who can help to subsidize the additional food," said Moltzen, who serves as Nutrition Coordinator for Bronx Health REACH and as a leader for the Food Justice Working Group at NY Faith & Justice.

 " A Catholic food system would care for the hungriest among us, both on the other side of the world as well as the other side of the street, making sure everyone not only has access to food but gets fresh, quality, nutritious food, that doesn’t degrade environmental sustainability but promotes ecological well-being instead," added  Moltzen.

The author makes a compelling case for Congress to transform food-related legislation when the 2018 Farm Bill comes up for debate."To make more sustainably, ethically grown produce available at an affordable price for all, we would need a Farm Bill that is committed to biodiversity and incentivizes produce rather than subsidizes corn and soy as staple crops," said Moltzen. "More affordable fruits and vegetables would also support equity for communities of color that are disproportionately affected by health disparities."

Read the full post, entitled "Building a Catholic Food System."

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