Cultural Encounters: A Journal For The Theology Of Culture Volume 11 Number 2 (Summer 2016) - Page 29

VOLUME 11, NUMBER 2 A JOURNAL FOR THE THEOLOGY OF CULTURE access, low income areas. I can’t remember what the exact numbers are. But a food desert is anywhere in an urban area where a certain population within a given census track, according to the US Census Bureau, lives at least one mile away from a full service grocery. And in rural areas it’s when a certain percentage of people within a given census track live at least ten miles away from a full service grocery store. So, in Portland, we actually have very few real food deserts, especially in comparison to other larger urban areas like Chicago, for example. There are huge parts of Chicago where there are no grocery stores, where people can live in the middle of Chicago five miles away from a grocery store. East Portland has some areas that resemble food deserts. Lots of grocery stores in east Portland have been closing over the last twenty-five years or so. There are places in Portland where there is less access to full service grocery stores, or they’re further away, but they don’t meet the second criterion of also being low income areas. There are areas in the West Hills that are actually the furthest away, but we wouldn’t call those food deserts because people in the West Hills can find food fairly easily. SK: In Portland, there’s a wonderful resource you could find online. If you go to the website of the Coalition for a Livable Future and go to their regional equity atlas, you can pull up maps that will show you the Portland metro area, with distances to grocery stores. They will also show you the percent minority population. They will show you income. They will show you asthma rates. It’s a marvelous resource. I just wanted to interject that if you wanted to completely see what the metro area is like. BHG: Here at New Wine, one of our primary driving values is focused on the fact that we follow a Trinitarian God, and that those relationships inform the whole way that we look at the world. And I wonder how you all might think a relational viewpoint would change our approach. Professor Moyer, you got into that a little bit, and the other Professor Moyer, I would value your input too even as a Buddhist. Sometimes people who don’t share our exact views are able to reflect very well on us to help us be more consistent. So, any reflections you all might have on how viewing God relationally might impact the way we view food? JM: You know, I think again back to GMOs and the way we are tampering with the whole in ways that we don’t necessarily understand or even have a way to describe yet, and so to me, that is an example of a failure of relational thinking: thinking we are somehow disconnected. I used to live in Iowa. I taught at Iowa State for a while. I taught philosophy there. And so driving down these country roads with field after field after field after field of genetically engineered crops was really kind of spooky and sobering because we don’t know what we’re doing. We don’t know what effects those are 26