Many shoppers wonder if the produce and dairy products they buy in the grocery store are safe. “How do I know this dried fruit from China is OK to eat, or this egg from the Midwest is uncontaminated?” they might ask.
With the economy rapidly globalizing, food produced in one part of the world soon appears on store shelves thousands of miles away, and little is known by the end-user about how the item was produced.
To improve food quality standards and ensure that hungry eaters far and wide buy a safe product, our conscientious prayers are needed. And they do make a difference.
God created the heaven and the earth, and it was all good, as stated in the first chapter of Genesis in the Bible. This relates to the food we grow today. When we are faced with reports of salmonella poisoning, hormonal additives, and pesticide buildup, the purity of the divine creation may sound like a fantasy. But the problems we face are not God-made. And they can be corrected through a greater love and understanding of what God originally designed for His creation.
God intends us to live safely, free from danger, harm, or threat of food poisoning. While the realization of this ideal doesn’t happen magically or haphazardly, our prayers for integrity and purity in the food supply can include producers, distributors, and consumers alike. God is the divine Principle at work in the universe, upholding standards that we can rely on for safety in handling our food. Integrity, honesty, intelligence, wisdom, cleanliness, and wholesomeness contribute to the safe production and distribution of food. Our collective prayers help bring out these good qualities and empower participants in the food economy to express more of them.
Thinking about how to deal with the current status of food quality, I draw inspiration from a story in the Bible about Elisha and a band of workers out in the wild. One evening, the workers gathered herbs to cook a great pot of soup, but one man unwittingly gathered poisonous gourds and threw them in with the good herbs. The soup turned deadly. I’m sure Elisha would have seen things in spiritual terms and recognized the innocence of the man who made the mistake. As I see it, the inspired quality of Elisha’s thinking and his certainty of God’s provision led him to tell them to throw some meal into the soup. This enlightenment set their fears at rest, and they found the soup was safe to eat.
We can apply this same principle to the world’s current storage bin of food. We don’t have to remain suspicious or fearful about the items we find in the grocery store. Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Monitor, wrote, “Man, created by God, was given dominion over the whole earth” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 545). We can exercise this dominion by praying for the expression of the qualities that promote the safety of the food that’s produced, distributed, and sold. We can see things in spiritual terms and expect this to have a positive effect, marked by improved standards and groceries that are safer to eat.