Food, Farming, and Faith

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Food, Farming, and Faith looks at agricultural sustainability and Christianity. Using scripture and science, Gary W. Fick-a Christian agricultural scientist-demonstrates that faith can inform decisions about creating, managing, even consuming our food. The book highlights such topics as food and celebration, environmental care, ecology and faith, soil and water stewardship, animal welfare, and the impact of poverty on women and our food supply. Throughout, Fick presents and discusses biblical passages that comment on these areas and provides insight from personal experiences growing up in a ranching family, in teaching sustainable agriculture, and as a scientist. Ultimately, Fick challenges the reader to think about eating more thoughtfully so that we have good food, a healthy environment, and a comfortable lifestyle all at the same time.

About the Author:
Gary W. Fick is Professor of Agronomy at Cornell University

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Fick succeeds in writing a thought-provoking book that is a worthwhile read for everyone interested in sustainable agriculture and its relationship to the Bible. He reminds us of our connection to the past. His clear, warmly personal style that is free of scientific jargon, invites even the skeptic to consider his valuable perspectives as we seek solutions toward a more sustainable future.” — Journal of Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems

“…an insightful book … It is impossible to categorize this unique book, but it will be valuable to readers interested in the future of food production viewed from the perspective of biblical teachings … The extensive chapter notes and bibliography could make this volume useful for academic curricula or for the start of further research.” —CHOICE

“Fick’s thoughtful book adds fresh perspectives to the growing number of books about the centrality of food in American culture.” — ForeWord Magazine

“In case you thought environmentalism and Christianity were at odds, here’s a book that makes clear, in great and rewarding detail, just how closely allied they actually are. This will be a useful primer for the blossoming green religious movement.” — Bill McKibben, author of The Comforting Whirlwind: God, Job, and the Scale of Creation

“This book represents a good juxtaposition of the author’s personal story and life experience with both agricultural principles and biblical analysis, making for both a pleasant and valuable reading experience.” — John E. Carroll, author of Sustainability and Spirituality

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Gary W. Fick is Professor of Agronomy at Cornell University.

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Table of Contents

Foreword     xi
Preface     xv
Introduction     1
It Is All about Food     7
Thanksgiving     8
Other Food Associations     10
A Matter of Life and Death     13
The Foundation of Stewardship     15
Motivation     15
In the Beginning     17
Biblical Stewardship     21
Loving What God Loves     25
Ecology in the Bible     29
Living in the Central Flyway     29
Holistic Thinking     31
The Christian Environmentalist     32
Genesis 1     33
The Population Problem     36
Humans and Nature     37
Biological Diversity and Species Extinction     39
Other Ecological Issues     41
Conclusions     42
Land and Climate     43
The Best Land in the World     43
Good Land     45
God's Land     46
Sabbath Rest for the Land     51
Then What Should We Do?     53
Soil and Water     57
Buried Fences     57
Soil in the Bible     59
Water     61
What Is Essential?     63
Essentials for Soil and Water     65
Conclusions     67
Crops, Seeds, and Food     69
Gardening Runs in the Family     69
Kinds of Crops     71
Seeds Are the Source     73
Nurturing the Crop     75
Harvesting, Storage, and Celebration     78
The Essentials     80
Conclusions     82
Livestock and Agriculture     85
Cowboy Days     85
Are Livestock Really Good for Us and the Environment?     88
Livestock in the Ancient Writings     91
Other Aspects of Animal Welfare     92
Economic and Religious Factors     94
The Essentials     97
Conclusions     99
Farming Systems and the Practices of Agriculture     101
A Good Mentor     101
Systems Thinking     103
Soil Tillage     104
Nutrient Management     106
The Wisdom for Farming     108
Soil Tillage in the Bible     110
Nutrient Management in the Bible     111
The Essentials     112
Conclusions     114
The Culture of Agriculture     115
Teaching and Learning     115
Farmers in the Beginning     117
Land Tenure     119
Labor and Financial Matters     122
Food and Culture     124
Ethics and Morality     125
The Essentials     126
Conclusions     127
Abuse, Poverty, and Women     129
Poverty, Women, and Agriculture     130
A Personal View of Poverty     131
Proverbs on Poverty     133
The Abuse of Women     144
What Is Essential Here?     148
Food, Starvation, Obesity, and Diet     151
The Idealism of Youth     151
Hunger and Starvation     153
Obesity     155
The Biblical Diet     158
A Different Model of Food Production     163
Change     164
Agricultural Sustainability     165
Complex Concepts of Agricultural Sustainability     166
Metaphors of Agriculture     170
Simple Facts     174
Abbreviations and Citation of Books in the Bible     175
An Overview of the Bible     177
The Essentials of Agriculture      179
Notes     181
Bibliography     191
Index     197
Index of Bible References     213
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