A few months ago I started my own little worm farm. It is based on one of those systems where the worms turn your plate scrapings into compost. Great stuff, now I don’t throw my food recklessly into the dustbin anymore, instead I give it back to Mother Earth, who in turn gives it back to me through my own little vegetable garden.
Full circle, nice.
But on the other hand I have been confronted with my own gluttony.
Since the worm farm, I came to realise how many food we buy, but never use and how many food we prepare, but never eat.
I have a book on my bookshelf titled Stuffed and Starved, written by Raj Patel. (Check out his blog by clicking on the picture of his book.) One of the main themes the book touches on is the fact that we live in a time where the production of food is the highest than ever before, but sadly so are the number of people dying from hunger. Never before in the history of mankind have there been so many plates of food available, yet so many people dying because of a lack thereof.
In Jesus’ day the big question was what did you eat and with whom did eat. Jesus came and flipped these two questions upside down by directing them towards a way of life that’s Good News to the poor and vulnerable.
I think Jesus is still doing the same thing today.
But this time with the help of a few extra questions concerning the food we eat:
Do you eat just enough?
Do you know where the food you eat come from?
Do you know what’s in the food you eat?
What’s the cost for going cheap?
What’s the price you pay for going bulk?
What oppressive, unbalanced, profit seeking system do you keep intact with the food you buy?
Was it prepared in haste or with love?
In our back yard we have a little vegetable garden. Yesterday we harvested our first little crop of peas. (A hand full to be exact...) There is something holy about preparing and eating your own peas, beans, brinjals and beetroot.
One of the great things about having your own little garden is the power of knowing that you are not entirely depended on the big names to provide you with food.
A friend of mine lives in Mozambique. He is running a programme that helps families struggling with poverty and sickness due to the AIDS pandemic, to start up their own little gardens that can provide them (and their neighbours) with enough healthy food to live a decent and wholesome life.
Another friend of mine is dreaming of garden tunnels that will provide entire neighbourhoods of people living in poverty with nutritious fruits and vegetables.
On the other side of the world Mr and Mrs. Obama are eating out of their own “little” organic White House Vegetable Garden.
And back home while the big ships loaded with vegetables full of chemicals to keep it nice and tight are docking at the harbour, my little patch of Life, not bigger than the size of your average kitchen, is slowly surviving the winter with peas and Broad Beans, but just wait and see till summer comes.
Enjoy your for lunch.