By a 4-to-1 margin, General Synod 28 on Tuesday passed “A Resolution for Mindful and Faithful Eating.”
The resolution, submitted by the Southern California Nevada Conference, evaluates ways in which our dietary choices can have profound implications on the environment, as well as on human well-being and animal welfare. Encouraging Christians to explore and discuss how food choices can accord Chistian values and beliefs, the resolution calls for development and utilization of an education curriculum addressing issues related to food choices.
Keith Scott, committee chairperson from the Illinois Conference, said that although “significant” changes were made to the draft of the resolution, the committee worked in a productive, respectful manner in tweaking the resolution’s final draft.
“In crafting this version – with all the periods, commas, colons and semicolons – we were even reminded not to put a period where God has placed a comma,” said Scott. “When we arrived at our destination, we evaluated the process, and most on the trip appreciated the journey.”
Previous Synod actions have expressed concern for God’s creation and called for responsible stewardship (“A Perspective on Christian Life Style and Ecology,” 10th GS, 1975; “Integrity of Creation, Justice and Peace Proposed Priority, 17th GS, 1989; “Global Warming,” 22nd GS, 1999; and “A Resolution on Climate Change,” 26th GS, 2007); for the rights of workers (“A Resolution on Worker Justice at Smithfield,” 26th GS, 2007); and for the humane treatment of animals (“Respect for Animals,” 19th GS, 1993).
The committee considered whether animal and human welfare issues are intricately linked in numerous other ways, such as pollution problems caused by CAFOs, particularly in Iowa and North Carolina; bacterial resistance to antibiotics caused by the routine feeding of antibiotics to animals; “Mad Cow Disease,” bird flu and other human health risks associated with intensive animal agricultural practices; a wide range of medical disorders linked to the typical American diet, including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, arthritis and certain cancers; and the negative impact of CAFOs on small family farms.
Because nutritional needs vary, financial situations and degrees of access to food, the resolution recognized that a mindful and faithful diet for one person at one location might vary significantly for someone at another location.