Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A resource for study

I just realized that I have never posted a link to a short study course on food from the Diocese of North Carolina.  "What We Eat and Why It Matters" is five sermon length videos featuring Ellen Davis, Professor of Practical Theology and Old Testament at Duke.  They are stimulating to watch, and of a good length to be effective at sparking dialogue.  
There's a facilitator's guide, too.

Another appalling food system story

Turns out donated turkeys and Black Friday are connected in another way:  the Walmart store that conducted a food drive for its own employees.
The Walton family may be the real welfare kings and queens.

Take the time to celebrate abundance

I've been struck by the increasing frenzy over giving thanks for what we have, then rushing out to buy more. We barely have time to reflect on abundance; and then there's the fact that many people have no idea Whom they are thanking.

Readers in the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California will have seen this reflection by Daniel Green, but I'm posting the link here for those who haven't:

And when we thank God for our laden tables and many blessings, let's thank God for all those people who helped the food get to our tables, especially agricultural and food system workers whose work is not fairly compensated.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

I'm back

Over the last few weeks I went through a real period of discouragement, and resisted writing a negative entry - or several - here.  The cause of my anguish was the barrage of news items reflecting the selfishness or ignorance or ignorant selfishness of so many on so many fronts of those who are hungry, experiencing food insecurity, don't have money or don't have access to enough good food.  When I heard about a school district denying lunch to children from low income families who weren't up to date on their share of the lunch price (a week behind in paying 30 cents a day, for example) I wept all over the car radio.  When I realized the senior program at farmer markets was being eliminated - an extra dollar or two - I got just a little angry, for I have benefited from that program.  I bought a six pack of plants once with my bonus for being old, and multiplied the impact.  When I heard the news readers - on public and commercial radio - cite the statistic that the average family of four on SNAP would lose $36 in monthly benefits - and could hear the tinge in the voices that said that was no big deal - I began to make a list of what $36 would buy based on the prices at Oliver's and G&G that week.   I didn't publish my list here, of course - too depressing - sugar was on sale, so one could get more than 70 lbs of sugar for that amount, but only enough local organic salad to last the family for a week.

Nothing seemed to offset my gripes about food injustice -
- not all the gleaning fun and adventures
- not starting my first EdX course on the science of cooking
- not even the ABCD workshop in Humboldt County which went well
- not even the Sox winning the series - which has nothing to do with the subject of this blog but much to do with everything else!

But for some reason I can't sort out, the funk has lifted, even though my summer garden completed its death spiral this last week and the dark seems to rush toward me every evening.  I just took some membrillo out of the oven, today's major project - now it just has to set up for a few days.  And I had some of the sweetest winter squash I grew myself for dinner, and am admiring as I type my winter supply at the cool end of the living room.