Cultural Encounters: A Journal For The Theology Of Culture Volume 11 Number 2 (Summer 2016) - Page 82

FOOD AS A SYMBOL OF GRACE - Harper Woman 4: The bread and wine are from things that are alive, in flesh. Kit Kat bars and Pepsi are not alive. BH: They are not alive, and if you eat enough of it they will kill you and you won’t be alive either. And also, Diet Pepsi just doesn’t look like blood. It doesn’t represent this thing that is life and death in Scripture. It’s life and death because of all the sugar . . . well, it’s Diet Pepsi so NutraSweet is what’s going to kill you because it’s carcinogenic. Kit Kat bars don’t represent the basic life-giving reality of bread. And also the thing about bread, too, is that a loaf of bread, like the matzoh today, can be broken. This also represents the reality. Let’s take these symbols that we’ve talked about. Food as a symbol of obedience and other-centeredness versus self-centeredness, food as a symbol of God’s grace, food as a symbol of community, and food as a symbol of sacrifice. How should this shape the way we think about food in our faith communities and outside our f aith communities? How should this affect the way we think about it? Let’s connect it. Man 7: Food should be about community. BH: What does that mean for us? Give me some concrete examples. What should that look like for us? Man 7: I don’t know if this is exactly where you want to go, but if food should be about community and our relationship with others, then we should care about what’s in it. We should care about where it comes from. If it’s being sprayed with pesticides, do I want to share that with the people I care about and in relationship with? BH: Here’s an interesting thing and I don’t know if the answer is about this. I’m a Democrat, so I think the Democrats should be able to solve this. In the inner cities, they have food deserts, areas that are five to ten miles away from any grocery store. But you know what you aren’t far from? Convenience stores that sell crappy, unhealthy food at unbelievably high prices. And that’s what feeds the poor in the inner city because they can’t get to the grocery store because they don’t have a car. This somehow needs to be addressed. If we care about people, food is about community. Essentially the poor are often eating really crappy food because that’s the only thing we give them access to in the zoning of our communities. I have a problem with that. Man 8: And the convenience store is not allowed to sell produce. BH: I’m sure in some places it isn’t. 79