Food and spirituality

There is an inner world of transition (see Goal 3, Integrating food into educational processes, Redesign).

"the notion of ‘spirituality’ can be seen as part of people’s inner dimensions being rooted in a specific religious or non-religious understanding and/or practice of personal growth and transformation"  and "the relationship of inner and outer transformation would be about inner and outer integration of both the physical and subtle realities of the world" and "people’s values, beliefs, worldviews and associated emotional/cognitive and relational capacities that, when activated can influence different sustainability outcomes and elements" and "Increased self-reflection and awareness can also relate to the activation of core values (such as pro-social, pro-environmental or transcendental values) and the narrowing of value-action gaps, leading to more sustainable individual and collective behavior" and "A variety of religious and spiritual worldviews and related practices, often of eastern or indigenous origin, do include and strengthen a sense of interconnectedness and compassion with the human and non-human world as well as an active engagement to change/work on oneself" Woiwode, C., Schäpke, N., Bina, O. et al. Inner transformation to sustainability as a deep leverage point: fostering new avenues for change through dialogue and reflection. Sustain Sci (2021).

Supporting inner transformation skills Wamsler C (2020) Education for Sustainability: fostering a more conscious society and transformation to sustainability. Int J Sustain Higher Edu 21(1): 112–130.

Food as spiritual practice historically in many cultures

"religious institutions are ideally positioned to engage with the inner lives of individuals as they relate to sustainability and to promote inner change." (Ives et al., 2020)

Ives et al. (2020) reference Pope Francis who stated that “the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion… I am interested in how such a spirituality can motivate us to a more passionate concern for the protection of our world” (Pope Francis 2015). The Dalai Lama (1999) argued that attending to our inner worlds would provide a  foundation for a more ethical and sustainable global community.

Reviving grace/reflection/gratitude, whether religious prayer or spiritual expression in congregate and individual environments

Six functions of food in spiritual practice (adapted from Monterossa et al., 2020; Fieldhouse P.Food and Nutrition: Customs andCulture. Second. Springer; 1995):

1) communication with God, gods or other spiritual forces,

(2) faith through  rituals,

(3) ascetuc behaviour,

(4) feelings of identity or belonging,

(5) expression of separateness from others not part of the religion, and

(6) ecological pragmatism.