U.S. Food Movements and the Influence of Christian Ideas

Authors: Edward Davis*, Emory & Henry College
Topics: Food Systems, Religion and Belief Systems , United States
Keywords: Food, Movements, Christianity
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 48
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The United States food system is not environmentally, socially or economically sustainable. And yet improvements have occurred, thanks to 19th- and 20th-century reformers, many of whom based their campaigns on Christian ideas. Their ideas continue to support the drive to make the U.S. food system sustainable. This chapter is about the ideas of food movement leaders who linked Christianity to sustainability since the late 1700s. I consider leaders in five movements: food safety, vegetarianism, organic farming, food justice, and the local food movement. The locally-focused agrarianism of the late twentieth century, led by Wendell Berry, builds on these ideas and on the four older movements. In this synthesis we can see how both place and Christian ideas become critical to sustainability discourses.

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