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ARC Home > Projects > Faith in food :
Faith in food

Faith in food

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Exciting news! ARC's colourful new guide to eating mindfully, Faith in Food: Changing the world one meal at a time, has been launched and is now available in bookshops.

The gloriously illustrated 228-page book (£14.99, Bene-Factum Publishing), is aimed at helping people make sustainable and faith-consistent choices around the food they eat, grow and buy. You can see sample pages from the book and read more about it here.

Faith in Food - the project

Faith in Food is about people of faith honouring their values in the food they eat. It’s about faith communities recognising that eating is a moral and spiritual act which affects all life on Earth.

And it’s about all of us creating a fairer, healthier and more sustainable food system through our daily food choices and, together, transforming the world through the food we eat – one meal at a time.

Food in Faith

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.

‘When one’s food is pure, one’s being becomes pure’ - Chāndogya Upaniṣad, 7.26.2
Every faith celebrates food as a gift of God or the Gods and every faith has something powerful to say about our role in protecting the natural world.

There is, however, another dimension to food. Food goes to the heart of our relationship with the rest of creation. Our choices of what, when and how we eat have a huge impact upon the Earth, our fellow human beings and other living creatures.

Food's environmental impact

Just as we cannot talk about food without also talking about social justice and what Pope Benedict called "the scandal of hunger" - the fact that one billion people in the world do not have enough to eat - so we also cannot discuss food without focussing on the environment.

Children eating lunch in a school in Vrindavan, India, run by Vrindavan Food for Life. Photo: Victoria Finlay
Agriculture has a huge impact upon the environment - from the destruction of rainforests to plant crops or graze livestock; loss of biodiversity due to intensive, industrialised farming; the pollution of water courses from pesticides and fertlisers. And how we treat livestock is also a moral issue, as is whether we pay farm workers a decent price for their work and produce.

Up to 30% of an individual’s carbon footprint comes from their food - which means choosing planet-friendly food is the most important, everyday way for people to reduce their environmental impact.

Faith in Food's vision

Faith in Food works with the world’s major religions to help them develop policies to ensure the food they buy, grow or eat – in worship and celebration, in their schools, restaurants, retreats and conference centres – honours their beliefs about caring for creation, and is kind to the Earth rather than destroying it.

‘For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink’ - Matthew 25:35
It engages the faiths’ moral leadership, purchasing power, investment portfolios and land ownership to help people rediscover ‘a right relationship’ with their food and the land it comes from. And it promotes these values to the wider faith community as being part of faith-consistent living - so that together we can start transforming the world. One meal at a time.

To learn more about Faith in Food for your own faith community, email Susie Weldon at ARC on

To download our Faith in Food leaflet, click here.

Faithful Farming

Of course there can be no food without farming, and many communities throughout the world depend on subsistence farming for their diet. ARC is working with Christian and Muslim communities in Africa on faith-based approaches to sustainable agriculture. The great thing about this approach is that it not only brings alive the spiritual dimension of farming but also leads to bigger and better crops. As well as helping our Christian faith partners practise Farming God's Way, in March 2014 we launched Islamic Farming the first guide to conservation agriculture for Muslim farmers in Africa.

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Related information

March 14, 2011:
ARC begins major new programme in sub-Saharan Africa
ARC is embarking upon a major new programme in sub-Saharan Africa, working alongside key Muslim and Christian leaders who have committed to develop long-term environmental action plans to protect the living planet.
Prince Charles plants a mango tree in Tanzania
A tree-planting project run by the Northern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania received a helping hand from Prince Charles during his recent royal visit to East Africa.
April 9, 2011:
ARC holds Faith in Food workshop in London - the biggest yet
An organic farmer for 30 years, Patrick Holden has always had a profound sympathy for the spiritual roots of the organic movement. But it was an 'extraordinary experience' at the Bhaktivedanta Manor Hindu temple in Hertfordshire two years ago that proved revelatory, he told the Faith in Food workshop organised by ARC in London.