Wednesday, August 22, 2007

food and religion

found this interesting article at the new york times -
Of Church and Steak: Farming for the Soul
here's the first few paragraphs...

NEAR a prairie dotted with cattle and green with soy beans, barley, corn and oats, two bearded Hasidic men dressed in black pray outside a slaughterhouse here that is managed by an evangelical Christian.
What brought these men together could easily have kept them apart: religion.


The two Hasidim oversee shehitah, the Jewish ritual slaughtering of meat according to the Book of Leviticus. The meat is then shipped to Wise Organic Pastures, a kosher food company in Brooklyn owned by Issac Wiesenfeld and his family. When Mr. Wiesenfeld sought an organic processor that used humane methods five years ago, he found Scott Lively, who was just beginning Dakota Beef, now one of the largest organic meat processors in the country.

Mr. Lively adheres to a diet he believes Jesus followed. Like Mr. Wiesenfeld, he says the Bible prescribes that he use organic methods to respect the earth, treat his workers decently and treat the cattle that enter his slaughterhouse as humanely as possible.

“We learn everything from the Old Testament,” Mr. Lively said, “from keeping kosher to responsible capitalism.”

Humane, sustainable practices like Mr. Lively’s are articles of faith for many Americans concerned with the way food gets from farm to plate. But they are even more deeply held matters of faith for a growing number of farmers and religious groups. In the past few years protecting the environment has emerged as a religious issue. Now, something similar is taking place in the way people of faith view their daily bread.

6 comments:

Beth said...

I love the end, about how 10 years ago the people coming to organic farms were hippies, and how they're now Christian homeschoolers....

billy said...

It is a wonderful thing to see people of different faith perspectives being united through action on an important issue. There is a lot of hope in this article fo rmany different reasons. Thanks for sharing...enjoy Greenbelt!

jeremy joybomb said...

That is my new slogan...What would Jesus Eat? But seriously, I would like to eat what Jesus ate. Does anyone know of any books or commentary that describes what his diet was like? Do you think he would have eaten at Tonio's? Cause that might be hard to give up.

eliza said...

Yay, go NY Times for sharing perspectives. Jeremy, I've seen a few books on "biblical diets." (Something like "The Garden of Eatin" or something) :) It's a long, eye-opening subject. It's kind of strange living in the middle of a "civil rights movement." I'm curious to know how it ends....but I guess that's partly up to us. :)

brock lucas rovenstine said...

I'm not sure if this is a good place to inquire about this. But I'm desperate.

I go to college at Greenville College, which is outside of St Louis. And I'm desperately looking for a good church/community in the city that is actively serving God and loving people.

Anybody know of any good ones?

Nate Long said...

Jeremy,
Some books that talk about a biblical diet: The Maker's Diet by Jordan Rubin, and Holy Cow! Does God Care About What We Eat, which was mentioned in the article (by Hope Egan).