9 Tips for Eating Christianly

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:

  1. Slow down. Try to find time to truly enjoy food. Prepare it yourself. Savor it.
  2. 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.
  3. Show hospitality. Invite others to dine with you. Follow Jesus’ example. Share food with strangers. Throw long dinner parties.
  4. Eat in community. Enjoy food with others. Let it be a unifying source of social pleasure.
  5. 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.
  6. Eat justly. Recognize that your eating affects others. Try to support ethical and just food practices through discerning consumer choices.
  7. 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.
  8. Develop taste. Expose yourself to new things and expand your palate. Learn to appreciate quality food, unique flavors, textures, combinations.
  9. 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.

7 responses to “9 Tips for Eating Christianly

  1. Nice post. I enjoyed the full-length magazine article. I think eating and food is a topic vastly under-discussed in the Christian community. Obviously there are a lot of Christians out there thinking about this and writing books about it, but I still think it’s an issue of relatively low visibility in many circles (at least it has been in all the churches I’ve been a part of, living in the Southeast). It’s pretty shocking to me how few Christians seem to care very much about how our consumer choices (such as groceries and restaurants) relate to sustainability, justice, and stewardship. It goes a lot deeper than serving Fair Trade coffee at your church on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, I think often people just aren’t informed about how many horrible practices we are financially supporting by typical everyday choices like buying “fresh” tomatoes from Kroger in December (I know I was miserably uninformed on these kind of issues until recent years). Christians should be leading the way in exposing and fighting these kind of harmful practices, where often they seem to be lagging behind other groups. Wendell Berry has a lot of great things to say about farming and food, and the destructive nature of our modern culture, economy, and food system, which is radically at odds with the Christian view of the body and the world (I assume you have probably read some of his work and maybe even referenced it in writing your book).

  2. I think this is a great post, and I’ll be interested in reading the book. The thing I have trouble with is the use of “Christian” as an adjective to describe something like eating (and to some extent, pretty much anything else, too). Is one person’s eating really more “christian” than someone elses? Christians eat, and they can do so in ways that are probably more glorifying to God than other ways, but I don’t think I’d call it “Christian Eating”

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  4. Lol, I was ready to come in fighting with both barrels as I thought something completely different when I read this as I’m on a bit of a see-food diet. I am humbled though. Very well said and good points.

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  6. Thom Turner …Everyday Liturgy has covered this also.

    Truly food can be the glue that holds us together…in so many ways.

  7. What a waste. The issues that we pick today that qualify as a Christian article is ridiculous. This is similar to the environmentalist article Biola did a few issues back. Just makes me sad that as Christians we are focusing on issues that don’t really matter. If your your a godly man or woman that is the most important goal as a believer the other areas will develop. But it seems as if Biola and other schools are more concerned with the “concerns” of the world instead of the our issues being driven by the Word of God.

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