22 October, 2007

MORE-with-Less: a world community cookbook


I know that a kick is a kick, but as far as kicks go...I really hope this one lasts. I just got my "More-with-Less" A World Community Cookbook in the mail that I ordered from amazon.com. written by Doris Janzen Longacre.
I am amazed at the information in this book, so I'll tell you about it, because that is what I do!

It begins by explaining what less with more actually is, that it is not about not enjoying what we eat, it is not about starving or being less creative with our meals. It IS about "simplifying [our] meals in order to reduce food expenditures...while in no way depraved of tasty, nutritious food" (p.12). The author goes through a list of reasons this should be done, including topics such as: World Shortages, North America: Five times as Much, Overspending Money, Overeating Calories, Overeating Protein, Overeating Sugar (my HUGE downfall), Overeating Processed Foods, and Over complicating our Lives.

I was amazed at how much information was in these sections which I had not fully thought about, but that I completely see the point of. I love America, I love the beauty of it all and the incredible people and diversity in our country...I do not love our need to enjoy the richness of it all and expect "someone else" to do something about the world's poverty. It is easy to continue on just buying things at the expense of others when you do not know what you are doing, and who it affects, but when you do know...well, that then is another story. I used to think that what I did with my money, my time and my donations really did not have a big affect on anyone but my family and I. Now I have just figured out that what I do does impact, it does change others, and that I can choose to have a positive impact on others, and not live in luxury at their expense.

Today as I was reading the reasons to change what we eat, and how to do "more-with-less" and in reading I realized something that bothered me. In the Overeating Sugar section, where the author writes about how, " much of the land used for sugar beets and cane could produce crops far more beneficial to a hungry world. Sugar provides calories, not a smidgen of protein, vitamins, or minerals"(p.17). This immediately made me picture the times of kings and queens where the royal family would be sitting in a huge elegant dining hall and the people they were serving were rioting outside their castle walls because they were not receiving the foods that they needed in order to survive. I have also heard of feasts that the wealthy had where they would cause themselves to puke up what they had eaten in order to continue on eating the delicacies of the festival. Ahhhhh! This picture happened many times throughout history because the people with less are the easiest to ignore, and it is happening now as well. We as Americans are the wealthy, even if we only have enough food to eat and a place to sleep...we are the wealthy! This is a blessing that I feel was given to us for a reason, and that reason is not to see how much we ourselves can indulge, but what impact we can have on the people around us who do not have. I realized that I need to look out of my castle walls, and reach out to the people that are hungry, week and just need something, anything. Yes, you can see...conviction has captured me, and I am oh, so thankful. Guilt is rotten but conviction....that is one of the huge blessings of having a functioning conscience.

I realize that helping those who lack is not a "calling" or a gift, or a different way of "spiritualizing" it away so that we can continue to do nothing about it....it is what we are told we need to do. It seems Jesus made it all SUPER clear in Matthew 25: 31-46...when he talks of those who actually knew Him...read it, I guess I see it pretty much as life and death, it is what we will do if we really do follow what he is asking of us...I guess unless we long to hear the: "depart from me! for you do not know me". This is not religious, it is not pious...it is obedience, and that is what God is continually working with me on OBEDIENCE.

Anyway, I know it is hard to read something like this...well, really know that it is hard to write something you are feeling convicted about because you fear the readers to assume that you are saying you have it together, or that you are trying to get them to do it, or the grand 'ol one "preachy". At this point though, I am beyond worried about what people will think, I figure if you really know me, you'll know what I am like. So, just know, this is my conviction...not yours, unless you feel it should be and then, well it is yours too. right?

So yeah....that is probably the most conviction anyone has gotten from a cookbook....but there you have it... I'm fully convicted.
oh...and about this same type of thing...you gotta read Paris' latest blog entry:


MamaP said...

I can't believe you gave me a plug! What a cookbook! Sounds like something I need, so I'll be looking into that one. Good ranting and raving.

Pottergirl said...

Hey Beth! Found your site through Paris. great post. This has been a reoccurring theme with me lately. The whole American way of life and paradigm of thinking. On a larger scale, I was talking to Doug about how people really don't appreciate what they have until it's taken away. But then when it is restored they quickly learn to take it for granted again. That's a human nature thing though. But all seems to dance around the topic of distinguishing needs from wants. Great post! I'm gonna check out that book.