Posted by: jblevins | September 15, 2009

Food and Water

We know we can’t survive without adequate sources of both food to eat and water to drink – things that God provided in abudence in Creation, and called us to be stewards of.  However, we have done a great amount of damage to both the waters that sustain us, and the fields and animals and food system that keep us fed.

This weekend, the New York Times had an article about the neglecting of Clean Water laws, and the impacts that is having on our nations waters. The Times found that the Clean Water Act has been consistently violated across the country, resulting in polluted water that can’t be used to shower in, much less drink. The Times noted, “one in 10 Americans have been exposed to drinking water that contains dangerous chemicals or fails to meet a federal health benchmark in other ways.”

We also know our food system is broken – as factory farms and over processed foods have caused us to be less healthy as a nation. We no longer connect with the land and animals that provide us with the food we eat.  More than 30 percent of children eating school meals are obese, and farmers make up less than 2 percent of our population – just for two examples of a system that is badly broken.

The great part is that there are things we can do about both of these!  The Clean Water Restoration Act is making its way through Congress – currently in the Senate, and soon to be introduced in the House – to close loopholes in the Clean Water Act and restore its orignial intent. Keep an eye here for chances to take action as that moves through Congress.  And last week I had the chance to attend a reception with the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policies Food and Society Fellows – who are thinking of innovative ways to correct our course and how we interact with our food.  Fred Bahnson is encouraging every church to have a community garden.  There is a movement called One Tray, seeking to change the food kids eat in school one tray at a time.  And Curt Ellis, director of King Corn, is coming out with a new documentary looking at how the chemicals we use for our food get into our water supply.  And those are just three of the ideas that are coming from this collection of 23 fellows.

So, we have problems.  We have not been stewards of the food and water resources God created. But we have the chance to change.  Look for ways you can get involved in reconnecting with the food you eat and the water you drink.

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