After opening the last can of tomatoes that my friend gave me from her farm, I felt sad. I knew that my next purchase of canned tomatoes would come from a store. Unlike my friend’s tomatoes, I would not know if the growers valued the health of the larger ecosystem of which the farm was a part. Would they use toxic chemicals that could harm the natural world, farm workers, and possibly my own family? Would they treat their employees with respect and dignity?
We are what we eat in a very physical sense. And with the Eucharist being one of our faith’s most defining and emblematic experiences, we are what we eat in a very real, spiritual sense as well. Somehow through the act of eating, we come to know our Sustainer better.
This message is adapted from “We are what we eat: Considering the hands and lands that give us our daily bread” written by Tanya Marcovna Barnett that first appeared in the Spring 2004 issue of Café magazine.