We have certain convictions about the food we eat as a family. Heather, a friend of a friend, wrote a post about her life in Haiti in which she listed a few of their goals concerning food and… well, I couldn’t have said it better myself!
We want to eat food that is healthy, nutritious, and as close to the way God made it as possible.
We want to be good stewards of the bodies that God has given to us.
We want to buy foods from companies who care about the environment and are good stewards of the earth God created.
We desire to purchase our food in a way that honors God by caring for the people who are producing our food. God cares about the laborer. He cares about the people growing our food. He loves them, and we want to love them as well.
These things have been stirring in our hearts for years and we have slowly made steps toward this end. We fail miserably, often, and fall into unhealthy routines. But having these goals in mind helps us make decisions day to day.
However. There are many variables to these decisions- questions of worldview and fairness, marketing and trends. The simple goals listed above get blurred in a culture of excess and countless options.
When Antonella was three months old we went to Argentina for a few weeks. I went to the store to buy diapers and I will never forget-there was two options. Two kinds of diapers to choose from. It was the easiest time I have ever had choosing diapers. When I am not using cloth diapers, I fret and over-analyze the price, the material, the potential health risks… of a diaper. I’ve been known to stand in the diaper aisle for many minutes just staring at the colorful pattern. I know there is validity to my concerns, but my point is this: my experience in Argentina buying diapers reminds me that not everyone in the world gets to choose chlorine-free over comfort-fit. And this affects the way I make choices about the things we buy and eat. I have to keep in perspective that although I am blessed to have these choices, they are not to rule out the simple fact that at the end of the day, all of us, as in humanity, are doing the best we can with the lot we are given. And diapers is just my first example!
It is so easy to get caught up in the current all-natural, organic, reusable recyclable trend, believing that I am killing my children if they drink milk from a cow that has been injected with antibiotics. Don’t get me wrong- I’m all for those things, as I said above. But my heart just can’t blindly buy it without considering another side of it.
There’s always more to be doing. There are always more ways to be healthy. There are always more recent discoveries about the harmful effects of processed food. You can find “scholarly” articles on the internet to support just about every potential health risk in question. Companies who recycle and care about our environment are often just as pagan and driven by greed as those who don’t. Finding a balanced, Godly way of consuming in our corrupt system is a new challenge for our generation.
But as always, much of it is a deeper issue for me. I am finding that certain attitudes and thoughts about these things are connected to issues of the heart. It is easy to say that I want to honor God with my body and spend $15 on an organic chicken thigh. But, really? Again, I am all for organic, but I have to ask myself… Am I falling victim to the ancient temptation to achieve immortality? Do I want to honor God with my body or preserve it for as long as I can? And… do I purchase these things out of fear? Fear of suffering? Fear of the guilt of harming my children? Are these fears robbing me of the joy that God intended? And lastly, can I do this considering this?
I know these attitudes are unlikely most of the time, however, they do creep into my heart. It is hard to tell when a simple desire for what is best for my body and my family becomes an idolatrous submission to culture. I find myself trusting companies that tell me they are God’s gift to the world of crackers or syrup, and maybe I am alone in this, but I think that for the most part, God does not prefer Mrs. Butterworth over Aunt Jemima. He does care about their cholesterol-clogged hearts. Not that you would ever find those on our table, after all, they are not organic!