A 21 January World Economic Forum session on how food choices can become a catalyst for positive change became an opportunity for World Council of Churches General Secretary the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit to present “Ten Commandments” of food to the gathered business and political leaders.
“If we view food through the lens of justice, every plate of food reminds us of certain challenges and opportunities. It is important that we acknowledge the efforts, investments and very lives of living plants and creatures sacrificed to provide food on our tables,” reflected Tveit after the event.
Tveit’s ten commandments of food are:
1. You shall give thanks for the food you eat.
2. You shall provide food for those who have no food.
3. You shall eat mindfully and in moderation.
4. You shall be grateful to those who grow and prepare food for your table.
5. You shall not waste food.
6. You shall reduce the ecological footprint of food production and supply.
7. You shall protect the biodiversity of the sources of food.
8. You shall support fair wages for farmers’ efforts.
9. You shall strive for all people to have access to affordable and nutritious food.
10. You shall rejoice and share the sacred gift of food with all.
Tveit added: “Food is sacred, as it is a gift of God to sustain our lives through sharing, celebration, gratitude, sacrifice and renewal. In our common home — the Earth — we have to work together to limit climate change and other barriers to food security, so that food can be made available to all today and in the years to come.
Food is essential for life, he pointed out. Almost one out of every nine people in the world are chronically undernourished, while about one out of every 12 suffers the ill health consequences of obesity.
The WCC works in the field of food security through its initiative the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (WCC-EAA) and its global campaign Food for Life. The WCC-EAA works to make progress in efforts toward eradicating hunger, promoting adequate nutrition, and striving toward just and sustainable food systems.