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PRESS RELEASE: Faith in Food, wonderful new book

June 19, 2014:

Please order Faith in Food from your local bookshop, or directly from the publisher or Amazon.

Faith in Food

When a young boy says: ‘It’s easier to get a gun in our neighbourhood than it is to get a salad,’ and he’s not standing in the middle of a war zone, then we know there is something wrong with our attitude towards food and where it comes from.

This lad was in Philadelphia, USA, and he made this wry yet shocking comment to a man who plants gardens in concrete jungles and introduces youngsters to the wonders of growing vegetables from seed and the pleasures of eating a freshly picked carrot.

Many children believe milk comes from a bottle not a cow

That many children believe milk comes from a plastic bottle rather than a cow or have no idea that a hen lays eggs illustrates how we have become distanced from the reality of food – that every mouthful we take has a story to tell. And a new book called Faith in Food – Changing the world one meal at a time tells those stories – including that of the salad-free Philadelphia neighbourhood – in an unusual and highly colourful way. From the Fairtrade bananas grown in the Caribbean that help fund a community school to the tomatoes tended by nuns to feed the homeless, Faith in Food combines essays, storytelling, recipes, and pioneering initiatives to form a guide to eating more mindfully and sustainably.

But what is different about this ‘food and farming’ book is that it also examines importance of food within six major faiths – Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism. It poses the questions: If you are a person of faith, do your food choices always reflect your beliefs? Have you considered the impact of your food choices on the environment, other people and animals? Do you know that up to 30% of our individual carbon footprint comes from the food we eat, calculating from farm to fork?

‘If you care about what you put on your plate, this is a book to savour’ – Clare Balding, broadcaster, author and presenter of BBC Radio 2’s Good Morning Sunday programme
A few simple changes

Faith in Food, which is produced by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, asks readers to consider how making a few simple changes to their daily diet could easily lead to improvements in their own health, animal welfare, producers’ livelihoods and our planet. Even if you don’t belong to any faith at all you can still find rich pickings in Faith in Food because it is more of a tempting array of tapas than a ten-course banquet of facts and figures. There are plenty of them, but they are presented in a bright and breezy way thanks to the light touch of designer Grace Fussell.

Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales

With a foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales, who is himself a farmer of 30 years and a passionate advocate of sustainable agriculture, and articles by key people in organisations including the Soil Association, Compassion In World Farming, WaterAid, the Sustainable Food Trust and the Fairtrade Foundation, Faith in Food offers plenty to get your teeth into.

Read this as a pdf

Notes to editors:

ARC is a secular body that helps the major religions of the world to develop their own environmental programmes, based on their own core teachings, beliefs and practices. It was founded in 1995 by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. ARC’s share of any profits from Faith in Food will go to support faith-based food and farming projects. For more information visit:

Did you know?

• Agriculture is the largest industry on the planet, employing more than one billion people worldwide and influencing the way half the world’s habitable land is cared for.

• Women farmers produce more than half of all food worldwide.

• Sikhs feed an estimated 30 million people worldwide every day with free food provided in their gurdwaras

• Nearly a billion people do not have enough to eat, even though sufficient food is produced worldwide.

• Thousands of Jewish households in North America and Israel have put nearly $5 million into sustainable farming by linking up with local farmers through Community Supported Agriculture.

• Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa.

• When the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore, USA – an American ‘mega-church’ – began thinking about food and faith issues, it calculated how many events it holds at which food is served. The total was 9,000 a year.

• Up to 30% of our individual carbon footprint comes from the food we eat, from farm gate to dinner plate, including transport and storage, says Patrick Holden, founding director of the Sustainable Food Trust.

• Increasing numbers of Daoists in China have banned the use of ingredients from endangered plants and animals in food and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

• Replacing red meat and dairy with vegetables one day a week would be the equivalent of driving 1,160 miles less per year, according to a 2007 Carnegie Mellon University study.


ARC's Faith in Food projects

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Faith in food
Faith in Food is about people of faith honouring their values in the food they eat. Food has always played a central role in religious life – in worship and celebration, through foods that are sacred, prasad or forbidden, and in communion and Passover, Ramadan and harvest festivals.
Inspiring food quotes
The religions have a lot to say about food, farming and faithful and compassionate eating. We've collected some inspiring quotes from faith scriptures - if you know of any more, please let us know.
June 19, 2014:
PRESS RELEASE: Faith in Food, wonderful new book
When a young boy says: ‘It’s easier to get a gun in our neighbourhood than it is to get a salad,’ and he’s not standing in the middle of a war zone, then we know there is something wrong with our attitude towards food and where it comes from.