I love mac and cheese. Memories of opening the wooden cabinets at my parent’s home come, salivation at the sound of the noodles shifting in the box as you remove it from the shelf. Busting into the side of the blue box with my thumb, super easy to cook, delightful squishy sound as it drops into your bowl. I love mac and cheese.
A couple years ago now I discovered Better World Shopper. It is an incredibly helpful website (with corresponding book and smartphone app that gathers and synthesizes countless studies, articles, and surveys to rank companies. The BWS focuses on five categories: human rights, the environment, animal protection, community involvement, and social justice. When I discovered these rankings I started combing the categories and looking right at the bottom of the list for which companies earned “F” rankings. Then it hit. Kraft Foods = F.
Oh man. I dug deeper. It turns out Kraft is continually ranked as one of the Top 10 Worst Companies, for reasons such as failing to label GMO ingredients and refusing to negotiate with workers for fair wages and good working conditions. Furthermore, Kraft, which spun off of Philip Morris (the cigarette company), controls a huge number of other food and beverage brands. I was faced with a dilemma. I could no longer participate in purchasing from a company that I now knew was directly responsible for breaking the Golden Rule and some of the Ten Commandments. My monetary support directly contributes to the continuation of their sinful practices.
I mourned Kraft Mac and Cheese. That may sound silly, but I did. Then I searched for mac and cheese options that would not contradict my values, values I hold in obedience to God. I discovered Annie’s. Annie’s = A+. They go out of their way to produce quality products while treating their workers fairly, valuing sustainability, and contributing to their community. Amen! At that moment, my mac and cheese eating became worship. A moment of purchasing, a moment of eating, redeemed for the glory of God.
(Bonus: Maybe my meals shouldn’t come out of a box at all. A further step in seeing food as worship could be participation in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Google “CSA” with your city name to find groups in your area).
Scripture: Colossians 3:17 (NIV)
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
- Don’t get overwhelmed! Have grace for yourself for past purchase and/or current habits.
- Pray for the courage and strength to change.
- Don’t always start at the bottom of the rankings. Seek out places that sell items near the top and start there.
- Start with simple changes, like which sodas you drink or supermarkets you visit.
- Change where you bank to a local credit union.
- Contact us! This topic runs very deep and presents layers of questions and creative solutions. We have been journeying this way for a couple of years. We would love to share our experiences further and learn from the way you journey towards God in your mindful consumption.
- Watch “Fridays at the Farm”
What steps are you taking to purchase ethically? Where is an area you’ve found success? Where is an area of improvement? What resources would you suggest to others?