Sunday, May 22, 2005

Farm Fresh

I was recently reading a blog that was discussing the treatment of farm animals and organic foods and the fact that Christians are not speaking up for what is good and right in this area. A few things about me before I delve into certain aspects that have stuck in my craw - so to speak.

1. I believe in God's mandate to take dominion, but I also believe strongly that we are to be good stewards of the land, creatures, and all things God gives us.
2. We eat meat and all sorts of veggies, fruits, and milk products.
3. We as believers should care about how animals as well as crops are treated and harvested.
4. I do NOT believe that animal and human genes should be combined in any form.

Now, my frustration:

From my recent blog reads I have gleaned that buying organic is the very best for my family and that buying meat straight from the farmer is the greatest way to go. I would not disagree that either of those things is probably better than what I am buying, but what if I cannot afford it? Am I doing a disservice to my children because I buy from the regular corner grocery store? Am I somehow doing irreparable damage because I am trying to live within my means? Does this equate to me not caring about my children’s health? Isn’t God sovereign in our children’s lives even when we cannot afford organic/farm fresh? Just last week I went to the local natural foods store and one gallon of organic milk cost me close to $6.00. I bought it because we were there, it was needed, and I really didn’t want to make another stop with five children on the way home, but I could never afford to buy that on a regular basis! To buy two gallons at the grocery cost me less than the one at the natural foods store.

I guess I am vocalizing my sadness at the idea that I somehow care less for my children or that if I don’t buy this way or don’t talk about it with my Christian friends that it in some way equates with me not caring about how farm animals are treated or what is in our crops. Different people are created for different ministries – what you may be passionate about may not be what I am, but that does not equal detached indifference. While I might *prefer* to buy organic, I have never been able to do so because of the cost. I don’t know any farmers and I don’t live near any – so what’s a mother to do? Even if I was to meet a farmer, how would I possibly know he had never treated his cows/pigs/chickens with anything? There is only so much in this life that I as a Christian can be and only so much that I can do within my financial framework.

It is tiresome to be told what I ought to be doing as a Christian in areas that are not clearly delineated in Scripture. I don’t feel the need to tell you what you ought to be doing as a believer, but if you wish to stand firm for what is right in farming/animal husbandry, I am all for it and in great support of you. Please do not think that I view you as somehow off your rocker, or that I think you are a “leftie” because of it - I just may not have the same passion.

What I do have a passion about, I will share with you, but just because it is not the same thing does not make me wrong; just different.

Warmly written,


Kim said...

Great post, Kate.

God commands us to be wise stewards of our money. He gives us what we need.

I think promoting healthy eating is very important, but we have to provide that with what God has given us, and what He has given us is good.

There is no way we can afford to buy all organic food. My children are happy; they are healthy. They all believe in Jesus Christ as their savior. That is all I can do at the moment.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on this, Kate. Perhaps we ought to be reminded, and remind, of the way Paul handled this: making a difference between what the Lord admonished and what our opinion of good is.

We can help each other, but not lord it over each other. Organic foods are increasingly available and affordable because there is more demand. If you can afford it, make the choice, look for bargains ( sale items ) to add organic products. Otherwise I say let's not really worry about it too much, because there is just so much time in the day to give to details.

You are doing a great job, how do I know? because you obviously care.

Anonymous said...

Oh Kate,

I could have written this *entire* blog entry myself. I totally agree with every single word. I try very, very hard to buy organic and healthful foods, however, it is a pipe dream to think that an entirely organic family eating plan is anywhere in our budget.

So I stress out constantly in the inner fight of mine between budgets and organic eating. I wish it weren't so expensive. I just could have written this ENTIRE post. I feel 150% just like you do.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ said...

We have dealt a lot with this too, and try to buy healthy things, and bake whole wheat bread, have our own chickens for eggs, etc. - but yes, a lot is affordability. We did have goats, and loved the milk, but in reality it was a lot more expensive - feeding them the "good grain" buying hay, etc. When my husband was laid off 2.5 years ago, and we decided to try to keep him home with various side businesses, one thing that had to go was the goats. It is cheaper to buy milk than paying to maintain the goats. We have to do as God provides. We don't normally buy ham, but if someone gives us food, including ham, is this God's provision and do we eat it? We would! So, I too believe it's balancing it out, and asking for God's provisions (including sales and special bargains), not buying too much, and asking for God's peace for the decisions we have to make in this area. Thanks for this good post. Loni

Donna Boucher said...

I agree also. It feels awful being a Christian who is not 'good enough'.

But I don't believe it.
God is above it all, isn't he :o)

Ya know, my husband will not eat organic. He thinks the milk tastes bad and gets angry at me for overspending.

I would not be a good helpmeet to go against his wishes cause I thought it was somehow 'holier' to eat a certain way.

Anonymous said...

Paul wrote that we should not judge people according to what they eat or drink, that who are we to judge someone else's servants. In other words, you are God's servant and accountable to Him. His grace abounds in all areas. And it goes along with the whole sovereignty issue. I've known people who've eaten extremely healthy diets and God has taken them home early. It's His timing. We need to be good stewards with what we're given -- both our finances and our bodies -- and don't worry about the things you aren't able to do! I found your blog through someone else's -- I can't remember which one -- and I am enjoying it.

Anonymous said...


I just stumbled across your blog this evening via a link from Choosing Home.

I have had an online blog for over five years now. In that time, I have seen many issues discussed; some discussed nicely, and some not so nicely. Many times I have seen readers of blogs take offense to what is written as if it was targeted directly at them, when it was just a generalized comment made by someone with a differing view.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that whether the intent was or was not to "convict" other Christians about taking a stand on organic foods and the treatment of animals, you, as the reader, have complete control over how you handle and process what you read. You should not feel guilty for not being able to afford organic foods. You should also not feel proud that you can afford organic foods.

If you know where you stand on an issue, do not expend your precious emotional energy worrying about someone else's "opinion". Their views do not add to or take from your life, as long as you know what you believe. :-)

razorbackmama said...

Hey, if it makes you feel any better, my dh, a Christian (grin), refuses to let me even CONSIDER buying raw milk from someone (even if he knew them). He works for the USDA. And although he's perfectly fine with organic food and such, most of the time when I've asked him about some of the claims, he informs me that they are hogwash. :-)