Food Inc.: Thoughts and Questions

by Jacob Juncker

First, let’s clear the air. I don’t believe the corporate food industry is an untamed monster that needs to be abolished. There is a great amount of good that can come from the it. For instance, Monsanto provided the seed for the 2011 Farm Mission at Christ United Methodist Church. Their donation helped us raise $25,000 to teach sustainable agriculture around the world. Food scientists from Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Pillsbury, and General Mills helped develop the Kids Against Hunger packets that will be packed at Christ United Methodist Church on January 16, 2012. The corporate food industrial can do a tremendous amount of good. In fact, thanks to advances in the food industry, we are able to feed more people on less land. With the global population increasing rapidly, this is good news.

The point I take from Food, Inc. is not that we should abolish the corporate food industry, rather we should hold one another accountable. Together, as producer and consumer, we must take responsibility for how our food is grown and produced. In the forward to Joel Salatin’s new book, Folks, this ain’t normal, Allan Nation writes:

 As a concerned…food consumer, you need to be willing to take personal responsibility for the food you eat. Don’t rely on the USDA or the FDA to vet farmers for you; do it yourself. Try to buy as much of your animal protein and dairy products from a farmer whose farm you occasionally visit and try to personally grow as many of the vegetables and eggs you eat as possible. This can start as small as a single flowerpot with tomato plant in it.

Are you willing to take responsibility for the food you eat? and the environmental impact left by getting your food from the “farm” to the table?

God appointed humanity to a specific task. After the culmination of creation, on the fifth day (Genesis 1:28-31, Common English Bible),

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and master it. Take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and everything crawling on the ground.” 29 Then God said, “I now give to you all the plants on the earth that yield seeds and all the trees whose fruit produces its seeds within it. These will be your food. 30 To all wildlife, to all the birds of the sky, and to everything crawling on the ground—to everything that breathes—I give all the green grasses for food.” And that’s what happened. 31 God saw everything he had made: it was supremely good.

We were created to care for the earth. Sin has marred all of creation. Sin does more than lead to personal death (cf. Romans 6:23). Sin has also lead to the corruption, degradation and death of our planet. But, there’s good news! With God’s help, we can “sin no more” and help restore, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, God’s creation.

How does the food you eat make you a contributor—either actively or passively—in the healing or hurting of our planet? Are you being faithful to the task you were created for?