Food. We're constantly thinking about it, finding ways to make it cheaper, wanting to make it healthier, trying to grow our own, trying to make more food ourselves, driving through fast food joints, stocking our pantries for natural disasters/zombies apocalypse, looking for new recipes for the stuff we bought or received in CSA/farmers market/co-op programs, wanting to try new foods, trying to release our grip on sugar and HFCS and GMO (when it used to be fat and carbs, now it is the chemical make-up we're concerned about!) , worried about school lunches, packing lunches, making challenges to use what is in our pantries/fridge/freezer without running to the store, clipping coupons, using rewards cards, and concerned about when we can fit lunch in at all.
And that's just a small portion of what Americans think about food. Here's a run down of 80% of the world: one cup of rice for the entire family, for ALL meals today, let's hope the "mall" which is a garbage heap has something we can eat in it, the water's brown and full of disease, but we still need to drink and hydrate, this corn mush isn't much and isn't delicious but it is all we have, let's share with our neighbors, the crops have died due to drought, dad is leaving to find work in the city; the children now must leave school and scavenge for food to live, the war/gang violence/territory disputes created refugees and they have no food.
That's how out of sync the food system is. It's not an American problem; it's a world wide CHURCH problem. We throw away food like leftovers because we don't want to eat that two days in a row because we have many other choices to choose from. Or, we've eaten out too much so all the healthy produce we bought while trying to live healthier has to be tossed in the trash because it's rotten. Or let's just eat out because I don't feel like cooking the food I just purchased, it takes too long, I don't know how to cook, I don't like to cook, etc. All these excuses are just part of our culture, our heritage, and the legacy we're leaving to future generations. Some households could easily live without their entire kitchen, minus a fridge to hold their drinks and easy to grab items like yogurt, apples, bananas, granola bars, coffee creamer, and cookies.
What if we planned meals, cooked our food at home, ate out for special occasions only, and used the extra money we saved to help our brothers and sisters who aren't eating? What if we SHARE what we're eating, too. Isn't that what Jesus meant when he dined with the Pharisees and gave them another parable about their inside rotting because they once again didn't "get it" with their pious, righteous attitudes? And I am not talking about sharing food with people who can already afford food; that's the rich feeding the rich. I am talking about sharing our blessings, and not being so comfortable but sacrificing for others, like the Church in Acts. There's no passage in scripture that says "hoard all you can for your family and stay warm and comfortable inside your house eating and entertaining yourselves" I am so utterly guilty of this, too, yall. My heart is broken and wicked.
This seven book, Jen ate seven foods for an entire month. Healthy, delicious, sustainable? No. But it did change her mind, attitude, and thoughts about food. Just reading the chapter changed my outlook on things. I can't imagine eating the same seven foods for an entire month because I've always lived in a place of choices. Sometimes those choices were crackers, peanut butter, hot dogs, ramen vs hunger (including a Christmas meal once during a PCS!) but we lived and survived. In fact, it might have brought us closer.
Operation Clean Out Pantry: Love our Neighbors Commences.