I’m excited to bring you this first guest post, from Kimberly, who is a Weston Price chapter leader, as well as publicist for Sally Fallon, the author of Nourishing Traditions (a much referenced book on this blog!). This is a excellent look at another element of Christian stewardship, and she says it so much better than I ever could have, so enjoy and be challenged and inspired!
Guest Post by Kimberly
“Then the Lord God took the man and put him into
the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. —Genesis 2:15
In the beginning, God
set man as ruler over every living thing, the fish, the birds, and
the animals. In addition, God gave man stewardship of the land, and
the responsibility to cultivate it. From the earliest biblical
writings, the relationship of man and beast was characterized by love
and gentle care of the animal kingdom by man. The writings in
Deuteronomy tell us man was instructed by God to care even for his
neighbor’s flock, “You shall not see your countryman’s
donkey, or his ox fallen down on the way, and pay no attention to
them; you shall certainly help him to raise them up.”—Deuteronomy
Many of us today, have
abandoned our cultivator role and now live in cities and suburbs. We
have lost sight of the plant and animal kingdom of God and our
relationship to it. Middlemen, Food Processors, Supermarkets and
fast food restaurants now stand between us, and the farm.
Consequently, we no longer know where our food comes from, and how
our livestock are raised, our produce grown.
And to every beast of the earth …I have given
every green plant for food…Genesis 1:30
Jesus used the
illustration of a tenderhearted shepherd to describe God’s love for
us. A loving shepherd guides his sheep to green pastures to eat, he
makes sure they find fresh water, and protects them from danger.
In contrast, our
industrial food system has no personal relationship to the animals.
It operates without a conscience. It forbids livestock access to
pastures; force feeds inappropriate feed, and corrals them in tight
quarters, indoors, where they don’t ever see green grass or
sunshine. These Confinement Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO’s)
subject our animal friends to unnatural horrors, such as chains,
filth, tasers, drugs, artificial growth hormones. Cows, for instance
are meant to feed on grass and hay (dried grass). CAFO’s chain
them to a rail, feed them corn, animal by products, waste products
from factories such as distillery waste, citrus cake, chocolate
waste, even M&M’s (see WSJ video on my blog).
Because we are many
steps removed from all this, consumers have been blindly supporting a
system that pollutes the environment, degrades the nutritional
quality of our food, and devastates the small farm economy. We are
going to our squeaky clean grocery stores, picking up our
hermetically sealed products, and going home to prepare dinner with
no clue of what is going on behind the scenes.
When I learned from the
Weston A. Price Foundation about the superior nutritional content of
grass fed meats, I switched our buying habits to buying directly from
a local rancher. I heard a woman at a party speak about this
rancher, who calls his cattle from pasture to pasture in a gentle
voice. This rancher personally accompanies his livestock to the
slaughterhouse and makes sure they are relaxed and not stressed in
any way. He is like the good shepherd of whom Jesus spoke. I
realize now, that when we take care of other creatures with
tenderness and love, they in return, produce for us a high quality,
nutrient dense food. When mankind mistreats our animal friends, it
results in our human communities experiencing deadly food borne
illness outbreaks (a natural result of abusive animal husbandry
practices), and suffering poor health, obesity, and degenerative
disease. We have unwittingly been supporting an inhumane and unsafe
food system, by purchasing the products of the industrial food chain.
Christians are also
charged with the responsibility of caring for our bodies, as our body
is described in Holy Scripture as, the temple of the Holy Spirit (1
Corinth 6:19). For this reason alone, we need to seek out the
highest quality foodstuffs to grace our family table. Homemakers are
traditionally the ones with the key to the pantry, the ones in
authority over what goes on the breakfast, lunch and dinner table.
When women take this responsibility to heart, our role grows into a
beautiful expression of love for our families.
Have you ever noticed
that bread from the store or even made in a bread machine just
doesn’t compare to a hand kneaded loaf? It’s the love that flows
into the bread through the preparer’s hands that makes the
Our family now buys
80-90% of our food directly from local farmers. We know their
philosophies, their animal husbandry standards, and their cultivating
practices. While we don’t raise the food ourselves, in this way,
we’ve reconnected with the land. We now embrace our duty to
support the good stewards of the land in our community. By design,
we are fostering the growth of our local farm economy, an alternative
to the industrial system. We are voting with our dollars for humane
treatment of animals, soil rich in nutrients, a clean environment.
The other morning, as
we had breakfast, my husband said to me, “I feel like I am sitting
down to a farm fresh feast.” Indeed, he was!
Kimberly Hartke is the
publicist for Sally Fallon-Morell (Author of Nourishing Traditions
and President of the Weston A. Price Foundation). Kimberly is also a
volunteer Chapter Leader for WAPF in Reston, VA, and Asst. Organizer
of the Northern Virginia Whole Foods Nutrition Meetup group. She is
a homemaker and partner with her husband in
Her blog is Hartke is Online.
illustrating this blog post is by cut paper artist, Deborah Claxton.
Every artwork is made using thousands of pieces of paper, designed
and cut by hand. Because of the painstaking process, Deborah
completes only 3 new originals per year. Prints are also available.
She can be reached at http://www.cutpaperonly.com/.