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June 17th, 2015
(food for thought)

   If you're interested, even remotely, into spirituality and/or Buddhism, then you ought to enquire about your food.
   Food is so fundamental a need (even among the "four requisites" for monastics) that it is at the very root of many causal chains, but also the consequence of many intentions and actions, not all of which are ethically equivalent.
   Ethical questions in relation to food are many: from animal welfare to human welfare (conditions for workers, impact on health of consumers…), from feeding the poor vs. refusing to (in the name of protecting future profits, or some fantasy fight against communism, or some Biblical reference while conveniently forgetting its many calls to solidarity and sharing…), from waste management to environmental destruction.

   If you're interested, even remotely, into spirituality and/or Buddhism, then you ought to enquire about your food… because you're unlikely to give rise to a healthy mind in inter-dependence with a poisoned brain! You're unlikely to help others if you don't reflect on how they, and you,  participate in a poisonous status quo.

   "Food, Inc" is a 93' documentary. In this age of instant gratification and fast entertainment, an hour and a half is a long time… but this is for your education, and this might have noticeable consequences on your engagement with the world, so I'd suggest to take the time, or make the time. Make it your evening program!

   This is not about vegetarianism. I'd still suggest that being mindful of waste would be a wholesome first step of practice, rather than vegetarianism ( As far as I understood, Pope Francis very recently took a similar position against the "culture of waste".

   This is not about agreeing with the conclusions / positions of the documentary, either. Ethical questions are complex and cannot be so many summarised and reduced to such a short program.

   But it's about starting an enquiry, or feeding a reflection. It's about raising awareness about consequences, causality, both in how some food yield to consequences, and how some views / priorities (not just greed by major companies but also by average Joe making choices) yield to particular types of food… i.e. awareness in inter-dependence, and responsibility.

   As per the kalama sutta (, don't just appropriate the conclusions of others… but, please, do enquire! Do reflect! Do think! Do observe, do draw conclusions, and do respond appropriately!

Click on image to continue:

Food Inc. (2008)