On Wednesday evening, a group of community and church members gathered at the church to watch the 2004 documentary The Future of Food and discuss the implications of our faith in God and the food we eat. The film describes an investigation into the unlabelled, patented, genetically engineered foods that are so prevalent on grocery shelves today. While mainly set in the USA, quite a bit of screen time is given to Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser, who suffered a prolonged battle with Monsanto, but eventually came out the victor. Other first-hand farmer testimonials were interspersed with stories from around the world as to the effect these foods have had on local indigenous populations, and what the future looks like for them and for us.
While the documentary is 9 years old–and therefore some of the “future” foretold is already history–there’s still much to learn from viewing it. I knew, for example, that genetically modified meant the genes had been tampered with at the molecular level, but I didn’t know this was done by introducing viruses to break down cell walls. Scary thought!
A short discussion followed as we shared our personal discomfort levels with genetically modified foods. While it’s easy to agree on this topic–for some of us, at least!–it’s harder to determine what, if anything, can be done, partly because everyone is starting from a different level.
We discussed the challenges facing busy parents who know they want to provide healthy, real food for their families but find themselves picking up canned or packaged meals and snacks (or going through the drive-through) because of time and budgetary constraints. What are the solutions?
If you weren’t able to attend the meeting but are curious about the topic, you can find out more at their website. Wikipedia gives an overview here. If you’d like to watch the documentary online, the full 90-minute show is here, or you can download it here for future viewing. One more option is borrowing a copy from the Creston & District Public Library.
This evening was one in a series of similar monthly events, focused on determining what stewardship and faithfulness in caring for God’s creation look like to the Erickson Covenant Church.