Sometimes reading and writing about issues surrounding food, hunger, and justice is just plain depressing. Like most people, I want to contribute to the flourishing of the earth and all people on it; I see that as God’s call on all of us, though it takes different forms for all of us as we pursue our various vocations.
For all of us, it’s easy to feel powerless–like there’s nothing we can really do to make the world better. In fact, we’re probably doing more to make it worse.
Wendell Berry writes in his essay, “Think Little”:
“Every time we draw a breath, every time we drink a glass of water, every time we eat a bite of food [...] we are causing the crisis. Nearly every one of us, nearly every day of his life, is contributing directly to the ruin of this planet. A protest meeting on the issue of environmental abuse is not a convocation of accusers, it is a convocation of the guilty.”
So be humble, says the venerable Mr. Berry. And while there’s nothing wrong with large-scale action, Berry urges us to “think little”:
“I can think of no better form of personal involvement in the cure of the environment than that of gardening…[a person] growing a garden…is producing something to eat, which makes him somewhat independent of the grocery business, but he is also enlarging, for himself, the meaning of food and the pleasure of eating.”
But of course, gardening requires knowhow, time, land, and other resources.
How ’bout this, though? Just try to waste less food.
North Americans throw away TWENTY TWO TIMES the amount of food Sub-Saharan Africans do each year--240 pounds/person/year versus(gulp) 11 pounds/person/year.
Don’t try to save the world. Just save your scraps! Make veggie stocks with cores, tops & peels before composting them, freeze leftovers, don’t overbuy…etc.