FOOD: From Farm to Table
In Search of Ways to Harvest and Feed with Respect To and In Promotion of Human Dignity
A Forum to Examine Food Production and Intake in Light of Our Gospel Call to Respect and Promote the Human Dignity of Each Person.
Summits like this are frequent occurrences at universities and colleges around the world; oftentimes the goal of these summits is to bring influential voices together to effect change in policy, procedure and the world in which we live. These summits serve as an immersion experience through which students are asked to reflect on how their faith calls them to respond to a complicated world. While we realize the majority of our students are not yet of voting age, we nonetheless recognize their capacity for change as young people who are in formation. And so, it is Brophy’s hope that our annual summit might contribute to the formation of our students such that they become young men of conscience and conviction, willing to stand up against a culture that too often values expediency and efficiency at the expense of human dignity. Ultimately, Brophy hopes to graduate young men who will one day participate in summits at colleges and universities, young men who will have voices that can positively influence real change in policy, procedure, and the world in which we live.
Summit 2011: Mission Statement
Food… one of our most basic needs, that which sustains and connects us. Historically, food production and intake touch individuals on local, national, and global scales. In light of this reach, the Brophy community seeks to examine the deeper reality and impact that food has on peoples and communities with a particular focus on our local community. Students will be challenged to consider how what we eat and the ways in which it gets to us affects the dignity and rights of the human person. Issues such as production, distribution, nutrition and labor will be primary areas of concern addressed by Summit speakers and explored further in Summit workshops and classroom discussions.
In addition, we will explore and celebrate efforts being made by individuals, organizations, and corporations who have successfully implemented food systems that promote the dignity of the human person and the environment in a just and sustainable way. We will look to them to give witness to what the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops speaks of as a fundamental concern for human life and dignity and a basic commitment to the common good through an exploration of the ethics of how food and fiber are produced, how land is protected, and how agriculture is structured, compensated, and regulated to serve the “common good.” Through our 2011 Summit we will respond to the Bishop’s invitation to use these criteria to explore, discuss, and advocate for agricultural policies that protect human life and dignity and advance the well-being of all God’s creation .
In light of the complexities of the local and global food markets and the questions they elicit, students will be invited to consider five primary questions: What are we eating? Where does it come from? What makes food nutritionally good? Who has access to it? And finally; What will food mean for our community? It is Brophy’s hope that through this educational experience we might come to view food not merely as a nutritional issue, but more importantly as one of human dignity that affects the health and viability of our community in concrete ways.
Meaningful learning should cause discomfort. This year’s summit offers a forum to raise the consciousness of our community about the effects of food choices on individuals and families within our local community so that we may emerge from the 2011 Summit on Human Dignity with an understanding of how principles of just and sustainable food practices are equally applicable in both neighboring and distant communities around the world; using what we have seen and learned on the local level during the 2011 Summit to understand and evaluate food issues on a broader scale in future considerations. It is hoped that we can begin to acknowledge our inner voices, come to understand our discomfort, and begin to engage and transform our world—a world still waiting to hear our much needed voices.
1. Catholic Reflections on Food, Farmers, and Farmworker. Copyright © 2003, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc., Washington, D.C.