The summer edition of Flourish Magazine is unfolding online, which provides a bundle of thoughtful articles on creation care for summer reading. There really isn’t another product like this on the Web, presenting balanced Christian reflection on a broad range of topics related to environmental stewardship, human flourishing, and the wonder of simple joys in a complicated world.
Don’t miss the feature article The Global Dinner Table: How what we eat here affects lives everywhere by Florida plant pathologist Tim Schubert. Here’s a sample:
So the problem of the food crisis is not simple scarcity. World food production supplies more than enough calories to sustain the global population, with about 15 percent to spare. But hunger persists largely because of political and economic barriers to food distribution. Additionally, attempts to move modern agricultural technologies into poor rural environments to make those regions self-reliant have repeatedly failed because the inputs are not sustainable when soils in poor areas are so depleted that they cannot make use of supplemental fertilizers, and water availability is not dependable.
Because we fail to deliver food where people are located, a death sentence condemns about 98,000 people every day. Beyond that benchmark of failure, malnourishment of approximately 1/7 of the world population (almost 1 billion people) robs them of a potentially more meaningful existence because they lack energy, physical strength, and intellectual capabilities.
Simultaneous with this state of affairs, we in the West tend to consume more than is good for us, ironically just about the same amount as the hungry elsewhere are missing. How do we reconcile this with the admonitions of Scripture (Is 58:7; Ez 18:6,16; Mt 25:35, 42) to feed the hungry?
A glance at humanity’s growth over the last 10,000 years of human history should give us a sense of unease concerning our food security.
The global food crisis felt mostly in the Global South is perennial and obvious to all who take the time to notice it. Its cause and effect is not much debated—these areas remain poor because they cannot grow their own food, not the other way around. The ability of a people group to feed itself is the foundation for a successful civilization.