Powerful, poetic and playful – heaps of praise for Faith in Food

FaithinFood coverBeautiful… amazing… engaging… powerful and poetic… that’s what people are saying about our new book Faith in Food – changing the world one meal at a time.

The book was published by Bene Factum Publishing and launched at The Wesley, Britain’s first ethical hotel, in London on June 17, 2014.

Publicity for the book was given an early boost by BBC presenter Clare Balding, who invited ARC’s Secretary General Martin Palmer to talk about it on her Radio 2 Sunday morning programme in May. She said of Faith in Food: ‘If you care about what you put on your plate, this is a book to savour.’

You can read a press release about the book, which has a foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales, and see some of the stunning images and artwork here.

And a round-up of the initial reactions to Faith in Food, which was designed by Grace Fussell, is available here.

We compiled the book, which focuses on the six major faiths: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism, in response to requests from delegates at Faith in Food events in New York, Delhi and London.

People said they found some of the issues around the sourcing of faithfully produced food quite daunting: global hunger and poverty, land management, GM crops, climate change and farm-animal welfare. And then they simply did not know what they could do to make a difference as an individual, as a faith group and as a community.

FiFPuttingFoodonthePlate copyWith that mandate we contacted experts – some we knew, some were strangers – to ask if they would write an article for Faith in Food. These included Joyce D’Silva from Compassion in World Farming, Michael Gidney at the Fairtrade Foundation, Helen Browning of the Soil Association, Patrick Holden, founder of the Sustainable Food Trust, Barbara Frost at WaterAid, Nigel Savage from Hazon and Sister Pat Daly of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment.

We also asked specially selected authors to write about the role of food within their faith. We were pleasantly surprised that all these extremely busy people agreed to help us – as did a number of photographers – for no fee.

‘I never realised I could eat my way to a better world’

Inspiring stories came from all over the world – from Christian urban gardeners in Philadelphia, USA, to the Buddhist monks who rescue farm animals in Nepal. We highlighted a Soil Association’s Food For Life Partnership school in Somerset, England, which grows its own fruit and vegetables and runs cookery classes for pupils and their parents. And we featured the gardening and tree-nursery projects run by our faith partners in sub-Saharan Africa.

FiF Calltoaction-eatingIn addition to these fun yet information stories, we set out Calls to Action, inviting readers to make small changes to how they eat, grow and buy food and suggesting how those changes could be incorporated into their acts of worship and celebration.

Reactions to the book have been extremely positive – Sister Sharon Havelak of the Sisters of St Francis of Sylvania in Ohio, USA, wrote a blog about it. Her friends and colleagues Sister Jeremias Stinson and Sister Grace Ellen Urban, who grow food for the homeless all year round, were featured in the book. At the end of her blog, in which she describes Faith in Food as ‘challenging… attractive… and succinct’, Sister Sharon said: ‘I’ve never realised I could eat my way to a better world.’

Faith in Food – changing the world one meal at a time, price £14.99, is available from Bene Factum Publishing, bookshops and online retailers.

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Posted in Animal welfare, Belief, Buddhism, Celebration, Christianity, Climate change, Earth, Environment, Faith, Faith in Food, Farming, Festival, Food, Food purchasing, Harvest Festival, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Organic farming, Ritual, Sikhism, Social justice, Spirituality, Sustainable farming, Worship | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Waste not, want not…

Britain throws away £15.1 billion worth of food annually, we learned yesterday, while in the same week the issues of world hunger and food justice were examined during World Food Day (October 16, 2013). In an article that was published … Continue reading

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All aboard – for a free lunch

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A church group in Tennessee is providing a new form of meals on wheels – an old yellow school bus that has been converted into a cafe. The Lunch Box provides food to children who are not able to eat … Continue reading

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Go nuts – for trees!

We can buy goats, chicks, watering cans, fishing nets and beehives as gifts for family and friends who ‘have everything’ – but we mustn’t forget the importance of the not-so-humble tree. Deforestation is responsible for almost 20% of global greenhouse gas … Continue reading

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‘350,000 British people rely on charity – just to eat’

Hand-outs: Thousands of British people are relying on food banks. Picture: Kallu

Hand-outs: Thousands of British people are relying on food banks. Picture: Kallu

The Trussell Trust, a Christian charity that oversees Britain’s 345  food banks, estimates that 1,000 are needed to cope with demand.

In an article in the Evening Standard Richard Godwin writes: ‘ The latest figures show that around 350,000 people rely on charity in order to eat. The number has trebled in a single year… As George Osborne talks of a return to economic “normality”, for thousands of families, traipsing miles across London for a bag of supermarket cast-offs is the new normal.’

To read the article in full, please click here

Posted in Christianity, Earth, Food, Food purchasing, Social justice, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A triple-helping of food and faith

Eat your greens: A tempting salad. Picture: Organicsaladfreddie.

Eat your greens: A tempting salad. Picture: Organicsaladfreddie.

Food, Faith and Culture is an excellent CBS news video report examining the role of food within the Islamic, Jewish and Sikh faith traditions.

There are some lovely stories told by interesting characters –  that is, if you can drag your eyes away from all the delicious dishes paraded in front of you to concentrate on what is being said!

You can view the clip on the Religion News Service by clicking here.

Posted in Belief, Celebration, Faith, Faith in Food, Festival, Food, Islam, Judaism, Ritual, Sikhism, Social justice, Spirituality, Sustainable farming, Uncategorized, Worship | Leave a comment

How to spend £3.20 – or £320 – a week on food

Manna from Heaven: Staming plates of chilli con carne are served at the Church of the Nazarene in Colingdale, Philadelphia. Picture: FootosVanRobin

What’s on your plate?: Chilli con carne or a vegetable stew? Picture: FootosVanRobin

Here is a thought-provoking article published on MailOnline about the global food gap – a family of four living in Germany spends £320 a week on food compared with the £3.20 a week bill for a family of 13 in Bhutan.

It makes for fascinating reading and you can compare your grocery shop – and be amazed at what is in other people’s shopping baskets – by reading the article in full by clicking here.

Posted in Earth, Farming, Food, Food purchasing, Social justice | Leave a comment

What jolly good eggs!

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Two major British supermarkets have ‘cracked’ under pressure and are selling religious-themed Easter eggs for the first time this year. Initially the stores rejected the idea of stocking the Fairtrade chocolate eggs, produced by The Meaningful Chocolate Company. So, for … Continue reading

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Rice harvest claim causes a bit of a stir…

A war of words over reports of a bumper harvest has broken out between China and India over India’s claim that 22.4 tonnes of the staple food was produced from one hectare of land. The story was highlighted in The … Continue reading

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Make changes – through chocolate!

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Change through the power of purchasing is the rallying cry during Fairtrade Fortnight, the campaign that urges people help farmers globally by examining their shopping baskets. By making certain choices such as selecting Fairtrade chocolate, wine, bananas, tea and coffee … Continue reading

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