In Ecclesiastes, we’re told that there’s “nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be merry.” Elsewhere in the Scriptures, the message is more complex: We are charged with caring for creation and for meeting the needs of the poor. Isaiah 58:10 reads, If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.”

This page celebrates food and the pleasure of making merry and “breaking bread” with others, but also takes a frank look at the politics and theology of food and its production—recognizing that what and how we eat has deep significance for our spiritual, physical, and emotional health and also profoundly affects the wellbeing of others and the survival of the planet.

We can do both!

(Lists in process)

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Best Foodie TV

“Chef’s Table” https://www.netflix.com/title/80007945

“Somebody Feed Phil” https://www.netflix.com/title/80146601

“The Great British Baking Show” https://www.pbs.org/food/shows/great-british-baking-show/

“I’ll Have What Phil’s Having” https://www.pbs.org/show/ill-have-what-phil-having/

“Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories” https://www.netflix.com/title/80113037

Favorite Foodie Movies

Babette’s Feast https://www.amazon.com/Babettes-English-Subtitled-Stephane-Audran/dp/B00A5IZGT2/

The Lunchbox https://www.amazon.com/Lunchbox-Irrfan-Khan/dp/B00KGENZI4

Jiro Dreams of Sushi https://www.netflix.com/title/70181716

Spinning Plates https://www.amazon.com/Spinning-Plates-Grant-Achatz/dp/B00HBQUJXE

The Real Dirt on Farmer John https://www.amazon.com/Real-Dirt-Farmer-John/dp/B000WTVZ3U

The Trip https://www.amazon.com/Trip-Steve-Coogan/dp/B005UHIDKC

Best Food and Restaurant Writing

The Midlife Crisis of the American Restaurant Review” by Theodore Gioia

(Anything by) Pete Wells https://twitter.com/pete_wells

A BuzzFeed “greatest hits” of Pete Wells’ most savage reviews: https://www.buzzfeed.com/hannahloewentheil/xx-times-pete-wells-was-a-total-savage

Ruth Reichl’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Ruth-Reichl/e/B000AQ403C/

My favorite of Reichl’s is Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise https://www.amazon.com/Garlic-Sapphires-Secret-Critic-Disguise/dp/0143036610

Best Kids Books about Food

My favorites:

Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal  https://www.amazon.com/Fry-Bread-Native-American-Family/dp/1626727465

Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Lillian Hoban https://www.amazon.com/Bread-Jam-Frances-Read-Level/dp/0060838000/

Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola https://www.amazon.com/Strega-Nona-Tomie-dePaola/dp/0671666061/

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle https://www.amazon.com/Very-Hungry-Caterpillar-Eric-Carle/dp/0399226907/

How Are You Peeling? by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers https://www.amazon.com/How-Are-Peeling-Scholastic-Bookshelf/dp/0439598419/

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey Wood and Don Wood https://www.amazon.com/Little-Strawberry-Hungry-Childs-Library/dp/1846434033/

31 Other Delicious Books for Kids https://www.weareteachers.com/best-food-books-for-kids/

Best Foodie Podcasts

My favorites are The Splendid Table and the The Bon Appétit Foodcast, both found on this list:

The Best Cookbooks

The More with Less Cookbook https://www.amazon.com/More-Less-World-Community-Cookbook/dp/0836199642/

The New Yorker’s Best Cookbooks 2019 https://www.newyorker.com/culture/2019-in-review/the-best-cookbooks-of-2019?verso=true

Read about Food, Spirituality, and Justice

Eat with Joy by Rachel Stone https://www.amazon.com/Eat-Joy-Redeeming-Gods-Gift/dp/0830836586

Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating by Norman Wirzba https://www.amazon.com/Food-Faith-Theology-Norman-Wirzba/dp/0521146240

“What is the Eucharist?” https://episcopalchurch.org/library/glossary/eucharist

Keeping the Feast: Metaphors for the Meal by Milton Brasher-Cunningham https://www.amazon.com/Keeping-Feast-Metaphors-Milton-Brasher-Cunningham/dp/0819227897

The End of Hunger by Jenny Eaton Dyer and Cathleen Falsani https://www.amazon.com/End-Hunger-Renewed-Feeding-World/dp/0830845712/

Overview about food and social justice in the U.S.: https://psychologyofeating.com/food-and-social-justice-in-the-united-states/

The UU’s statement on Ethical Eating: https://www.uua.org/action/statements/ethical-eating-food-environmental-justice

Take Action

Support your local foodbank: https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-find-food-banks-in-your-area-2997430

Go Meatless on Mondays: https://www.meatlessmonday.com/benefits/

Buy sustainable seafood: https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/conservation-and-science/our-programs/seafood-watch

Learn about famine in African countries and Yemen and support relief efforts: https://bit.ly/36SqLO7

Support “The Store,” a free, year-round grocery store in Nashville: https://www.thestore.org/about-us.html