Pope Francis

Pope Francis: Food for Profit at Any Cost

On the occasion of World Food Day, Pope Francis had a message for the world about food and health and social justice. Food for profit at any cost has led to a world of hunger, obesity, and waste. Indeed, he said, food has cultural, social, and symbolic importance we are neglecting. The logic of the market gives us a harsh situation:

It is a cruel, unjust and paradoxical reality that, today, there is food for everyone and yet not everyone has access to it.

World Food Day

The overarching theme of World Food Day is “achieving zero hunger. But the Food and Agriculture organization explains that it’s not only about addressing hunger. It’s also about nourishing people, while nurturing the planet. The call is for action across sectors to make healthy and sustainable diets affordable and accessible to everyone:

We have moved from seasonal, mainly plant-based and fibre-rich dishes. Instead, we have diets that are higher in refined starches, sugar, fats, salt, processed foods, meat and other animal-source products. We spend less time preparing meals at home. Consumers, especially in urban areas, increasingly rely on supermarkets, fast food outlets, street food vendors and take-away restaurants.

Nutritious foods that constitute a healthy diet are not available or affordable for many people.

Food for Body and Soul

The pope explained that food has a deeper significance:

Our lives depend on the fruits of creation. These cannot be reduced to mere objects to be recklessly handled and used. Nutritional disorders can only be combated by the cultivation of lifestyles inspired by gratitude for the gifts we have received and the adoption of a spirit of temperance, moderation, abstinence, self-control and solidarity. These virtues,have accompanied the history of humanity. They summon us to a more simple and sober life, and unfailing concern for the needs of those around us.

Food for profit at any cost comes at quite a high cost. We have an abundance of industrial food commodities. But we also have malnourishment in many forms. Obesity grows while hunger persists. Developing countries have great disparities of too little food while moving toward an unhealthy Western diet.

In the words of the pope, “we are accumulating and wasting the bread of the poor.”

For more on World Food Day, click here and here.

Pope Francis, photograph by Benhur Arcayan / Wikimedia Commons

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October 17, 2019

3 Responses to “Pope Francis: Food for Profit at Any Cost”

  1. October 17, 2019 at 6:43 am, Eileen said:

    Thank you for these words Pope Francis.

  2. October 17, 2019 at 9:32 am, Mary-Jo said:

    Thanks for sharing this, Ted. Divine intervention is certainly welcome to bring some perspective to a world of food and nutrition gone amok by mankind.😇

  3. October 17, 2019 at 11:53 am, Susan Burke March said:

    Thanks for posting this reminder, Ted.