Friday, June 4, 2010

Food & Faith Challenge: Money

I have gotten behind on all my blog posts, but this is the challenge I am most upset to be missing out on.  For the rest of the challenge I have promised myself that I will post the current week on time, along with 1-2 additional "back-logged" posts each week so that I've responded to each topic by the end of the challenge.

This week's topic is Money.

Questions for Reflection:
•Using our money to buy fresh, local food–which may or may not cost more than the supermarket equivalent–is an exciting way to put our values into practice. Even the smallest step in that direction makes a difference. Thinking about buying local food in this way, how might it be good stewardship to buy local, seasonal food even if it costs more than other options?
Especially when you are focusing on stewardship, in figuring the total cost of the food you are buying, you have to account for the TOTAL cost - not just the cash you pay up front for the product. Just as Michelle brings up in her post, a low-cost processed food today may bring you higher doctors bills down the line! The cost to the environment alone should bring the "real cost" of conventional foods higher than locally grown organic produce, so I feel it makes sense to buy SOLE food, bottom line.

Challenge to Action:
•Evaluate your food budget. Are there processed items or restaurant meals you can give up so more money is available for fresh, local products or fair trade items? Or would you consider increasing your food budget itself for this purpose?
I know that we can give up more processed foods to re-channel money into making better choices, specifically to buy more ethically and sustainably raised meat.  My main roadblock is my husband, who prefers to buy whatever meat is on sale at the supermarket.  He has yet to be convinced that better treatment of the animals, greater thought as to how the farming of those animals effects our environment, and even proper diet and lack of chemicals (promoting a healthier animal) is better for us, the eaters of said animals.  Or more rightly, he doesn't feel it's "better enough" to pay the higher prices.

To his credit - I have not been able to fully explain why I am so passionate about the subject.  That's partially why I chose to take part in this challenge; to try and flesh out why I feel we should be focusing our dining on real foods made by people we've met in places not so far away.  I struggle as well when it comes to the cost of certain foods.  It's also daunting trying to figure out where to find the "real thing".  Can you trust the labels, or do you have to know the farmer himself (or herself)?  If you know someone who knows the farmer, is that enough?  Do they have the same definition of humane that you do?

Sometimes I feel that there are more questions than answers.... but what it really comes down to is doing what you can do.  Taking those baby steps towards something better.  Taking the time to stop and think about what you are about to buy... what you are about to eat.

1 comment:

  1. thank you so much for posting this! My husband has been slow to come around, too when it comes to meat. Watching Food, Inc. really helped - now he realizes it's a matter of quality, too - in addition to all the ethical reasons.