Episode 6: The Sacramental Nature of an Heirloom Tomato

To-may-to, to-mah-to…. Jess and I might not agree on how to say the name of that delicious fruit-vegetable, but we do agree that we should consider it a little more deeply than how good it tastes. In this episode, we are talking about the theology of food, how eating should be a conversation of gratefulness to God, how death brings us life, and what practical things we can do to eat and shop a little more intentionally.

With every bite we put in our mouth, we are making a political and theological statement. With our approach to food and eating, we proclaim what we believe: about God, our bodies, the care of the earth and those who harvest food from it, and the poor.
— Lane M. Arnold and Valerie E. Hess, The Life of the Body: Physical Well-Being and Spiritual Formation
Man must eat in order to live; he must take the world into his body and transform it into himself, into flesh and blood. He is indeed that which he eats, and the whole world is presented as one all-embracing banquet table for man. And this image of the banquet remains throughout the whole Bible, the central image of life. It is the image of life at its creation and also the image of life at its end and fulfillment.
— Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World

Psalm 104

14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
    and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth
15     and wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine
    and bread to strengthen man's heart. (ESV)

All that exists is God’s gift to man, and it all exists to make God known to man, to make man’s life communion with God. It is divine love made food, made life for man. God blesses everything He creates, and, in biblical language, this means that He makes all creation the sign and means of His presence and wisdom, love and revelation....
— Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World

PRACTICE

  • Share it! Practice hospitality and invite some folks over to share food with.

  • Grow your own food (even if it’s just herbs in a pot!)

  • Try and buy even just a couple of things organic or from a farmer’s market.

  • Do a bit of reading and research to start thinking in the right direction. Easy way to do this: watch a documentary on Netflix, like Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food or Food, Inc.

  • Attempt to make some change, not all the change. You’ll find that good choices are made easier by practice, attentiveness, and time.

Erin Ware