This year our Lent group is talking about food. It fascinates me that this essential for life can have so many facets. We have explored each of our relationships with food – the aspects of guilt: guilt about overconsumption, guilt about not using small local shops, guilt about food miles, guilt about food waste. These guilts were so general in the group. Many of us remembered boycotting produce from South Africa. Now we can buy from South Africa but should we given the vast food miles of importing this from so far away. We discussed other regimes around the world and if we should boycott their produce as we did South Africa but realised that the issues, or the knowledge of those issues, have made such action problematical.
We realised that our choices are enabled by our relative wealth. We looked at third world food projects and food projects nearer to home. The inequality of food should give us pause. We have choices about food and the freedom to make a moral judgement about those choices. Maybe we should be more prayerful about each packet we put into our shopping basket. We have to confess being seduced by supermarket offers that encourage us to overbuy and then waste food.
We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us.

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