For the last 10 months I’ve been writing a book about Christian approaches to consuming culture, and one of the things I discuss in the book is food. How can Christians be better consumers of food? It’s a topic pertinent to anyone of faith (we all eat), but maybe not one that is discussed as much as it should be (though a number of great books have been exploring it of late–such as this, this, and this.)
The subject of a “theology of food” is one I recently explored in a cover story for Biola Magazine: “Soul & Stomach.” Though it’s hard to cover such a massive topic in a four page article, I’m proud of how the piece turned out. For a more expansive treatment of the subject, check out my book when it comes out in 2013.
In the meantime, here is a sidebar from the article, listing nine tips/suggestions for how me might approach our consumption of food more thoughtfully and Christianly:
- Slow down. Try to find time to truly enjoy food. Prepare it yourself. Savor it.
- Give thanks. For the food you have, for the hands that prepared it, for the land and animals it comes from; above all, for God the provider and sustainer of life.
- Show hospitality. Invite others to dine with you. Follow Jesus’ example. Share food with strangers. Throw long dinner parties.
- Eat in community. Enjoy food with others. Let it be a unifying source of social pleasure.
- Be sensitive to those around you. Many people struggle with food-related issues (dieting, food addiction, eating disorders); keep this in mind as you eat. Know there are many Christian resources available if you or a loved one need help.
- Eat justly. Recognize that your eating affects others. Try to support ethical and just food practices through discerning consumer choices.
- Fight global hunger. Remember that nearly 1 billion people in the world do not have enough to eat. Keep that in perspective and do what you can to feed the hungry in your communities and across the world.
- Develop taste. Expose yourself to new things and expand your palate. Learn to appreciate quality food, unique flavors, textures, combinations.
- Eat humbly. Rather than eating food to show off your culinary sophistication, eat with humility and thanksgiving, awestruck by the beauty and goodness you are privileged to enjoy.