Category Archives: Health

Poor people aren’t trying hard enough to eat healthy

So some vegan chef thinks poor people are just lazy and that’s why they don’t eat healthy. It’s on old myth being used in a new way by people who have no idea what poverty is or means.

The problem here is that not everyone has access to “fresh organic spinach” or lives next to a Whole Foods. See: food deserts. People might not be eating Pop Tarts because they’re shunning the farmers market; they might not have a farmers market at ALL. And it goes way beyond individual choice — our food system is so messed up that it’s ludicrous to suggest the problem is choosing the right food. But legislation and large-scale change is less fun to chat about at your vegan yoga cocktail hour.

via Vegan tries to prove poor people aren’t trying hard enough to eat healthy | Grist.

More With Much Less

LivingMoreWithLess2010My good friend Michelle is starting a blog about being Mennonite with an eating disorder called More With Much Less. I love her willingness to, not only be vulnerable, but laugh at herself and approach being Mennonite, living in community and her own disorder with a sense of humor and play. Here’s her summary of what she’s up to:

“I intend to read [More With Less] and cook one of the recipes each week and blog about my experience.  You might wonder what the point of this is.  Sometimes, I wonder the same thing.  But I think it is important as Mennonites and other Christians think about the ethics of food, hunger, and the poor, that we do not shape the conversation around the idea of guilt.”

I’m very excited about her project and how it might overlap and inform the work and thinking that I’ve done on the ethics of eating here. Maybe I’ll have her guest post over here on something. So, add it to your reader and saddle up.

Holy Purchases: What to Do For the Holidays?

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I thought I was done with this series, but then the looming High Holy Days of Consumerism made me realize that this is the time of year that people wrestle the most with the conflict between the faith of consumerism and their faith as Christians. So, I want to try and write something helpful rather than just something to make you feel bad. I tried to paint a brief picture of the alternative economy of God in which all members of the household have their needs met, there is meaningful work for all and creation is sustainably cared for. It’s a nice picture, but far from the reality we live in.

There are lots of things we could do, but I’d like to focus on some ideas that pertain in particular to the Christmas season. I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas. There’s a part of me that loves the cultural Christmas. I have a ridiculously large Christmas music collection. I love winter and snuggling up with some eggnog and a fire. I love Christmas movies. I love the magical feeling that our cultural Christmas myths stir. I love that there’s a general feeling of trying to get along and be nice to each other, to overcome our differences.

BUT with all of that also comes the guilt about what presents to buy. The list of people to buy something for. The sense of obligation rather than joy in giving. The mad rush to get more stuff and the feeling that having more will make you happy. The expectation of receiving presents and the disappointment of not getting what you wanted. These are also the values that the season brings with its cultural myths not in spite of them. So, what do we do with this time? How do we embody God’s economy in the midst of these powerful myths surrounding the High Holy Days of Consumerism? Here are some of my ideas. Continue reading

Holy Purchases: Practices and Possibilities

The previous posts have explored the role of purchases in the consumer religion, letting go of the holiness of our purchases and the idolatry of our purchases. Now I want to outline the identity found in God’s economy as an alternative to the consumer identity constructed through our holy purchases.

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I’ve done a lot of writing here on my thoughts about property in the Bible. This and the following posts might be a good place to start. I’ve also written a lot about economics and Sabbath and how they are related. While I don’t want to cover all of that territory again, I also don’t want you to have to read all that first. So, let me try to summarize what the economy of God looks like in the biblical narrative. Much of this also comes from God the Economist by M. Douglas Meeks which I hope to dive into here soon and which my friend Justin Tapp first recommended to me. His posts on the book are worth reading from a conservative Christian economist perspective. Continue reading