Simply in Season

News and reflections on all that's good about local food
from the co-author of Simply in Season,
a World Community Cookbook in the spirit of More-with-Less

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Fast food, fair food, faithful food

It is a week for sacred food. For those of Jewish faith, the weeklong observance of Passover begins tomorrow. And on Thursday, Christians remember the night before Jesus’ death: the night he broke bread, blessed and shared it, and passed a cup of wine saying, “Do this in remembrance of me.”

What better time to note a few of the ways faith communities are taking action to create more just, earth-friendly agricultural and trade systems.

'I'm Not Lovin' It'
The National Farm Worker Ministry and several other religious organizations declared March 31, 2006, the Day of Prayer and Meditation to Advance Real Rights for Farmworkers -- an event in the midst of the 10-day McDonald’s Truth Tour. The tour was led by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, leaders of the successful four-year boycott of Taco Bell.

“We’ve been calling on McDonald’s to do what Taco Bell has already done; namely to work with the CIW to improve wages and advance farmworkers’ rights in its own tomato supply chain,” said the Rev. Dr. Bob Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches USA.

“McDonald’s clearly knows how to do better,” CIW said, noting that the fast-food giant recently announced an agreement to purchase only fair-trade coffee for over 650 of its restaurants.

[In other news, take a look at the Greenpeace campaign which links fast food to the trashing of the Amazon rainforest. This time the issue isn't raising beef cattle on what used to be forestland, but growing soy beans which are turned into chicken feed. "Every time you buy a Chicken McNugget, you could be taking a bite out of the Amazon."]

‘Revenge of the Acronyms: WTO, NAFTA, CAFTA and FTAA’
This Thursday, April 13, begins the Week of Action on Trade Justice sponsored by Presbyterian Church (USA). Activities include support for Co-op America’s “Adopt a Supermarket” campaign, in which consumers sign up to be what I think of as “holy pests”: people who keep pressure on supermarkets to carry and promote more fairly traded products, and who educate fellow consumers about why it’s important to buy these products.

2007 Farm Bill
The National Catholic Rural Life Conference is planting seeds of preparation for the 2007 Farm Bill. Its Winter 2005 issue of Rural Life magazine offers a dozen visions of “a new farm and food policy for the American countryside.”


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