You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you.- Deuteronomy 8:10
Food security is an issue that millions of people around the world deal with every day. Thankfully churches and faith-based relief and development agencies are working to address the needs of families around the world and the challenges that climate change will present if left unchecked.
During this time of Lent, reflect upon your own food security.
When was the last time you went to bed hungry? Do you know people in your community who are food insecure? Have you visited places where food is scarce?
To remind ourselves of the relationship between our food and God's creation, and to remember those who go to bed hungry and do not share in God's abundance, we are asking you to join us in Meatless Mondays this Lenten season. (really any meatless day you choose is fine!)
Many people around the world rarely eat meat because of its cost, getting their protein from plants, such as beans. As standards of living rise, people tend to include more meat and fish in their diets; for example, as income levels rise in countries like China and India, their meat consumption also is rising. But meat production comes at a cost to God's creation:
- The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the meat industry produces one fifth of the greenhouse gases that are contributing to global climate change.
- Studies show that an estimated 1800 gallons of water are needed to produce one pound of meat (compared with only 250 gallons of water for a pound of soybeans). With global climate change, water, like food, is becoming a scarce commodity.
- Less meat also means fewer fossil fuel used. The production of protein from grain-fed animals requires eight times as much fossil-fuel energy as the production of plant protein, as fuel is used to plant, fertilize, harvest and ship the grain that feeds livestock as well as to transport the livestock to slaughter and meat to market.
Eating less meat means you are using fewer resources for your personal diet and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, while making a commitment to global food security.