Christians are being encouraged to use their LOAF during Lent, as campaigners call for a reintegration of faith and ethical living.
Christian Ecology Link (CEL) a body which helps Christians engage positively with environmental matters, is recommending that throughout Lent believers should aim to eat food which is Local, Organic, Animal friendly, and Fair trade.
And the group have produced leaflets in time for the forthcoming season of Lent, asking all of us to take action on the food we eat.
As well as being a handy acronym, the loaf is a powerful metaphor for Christians.
Ruth Jarman, CEL's Climate Change campaigner said, "Bread has a special place in the Christian life. Not only does Jesus bless and break bread with his disciples but he refers to his own body as bread, broken for us.
“It is fitting, therefore, for us to follow Jesus' teachings of justice and love for the vulnerable when we purchase or make our daily bread. CEL's LOAF principles are an easy way to embed justice and righteousness into our food consumption."
And Jo Abbess of CEL added: "The earliest Christians tried to live in strong unity, putting into action the principle that Jesus taught, to love each other just as completely as he loved them.
“It wasn't a sentimental creed, it was one of daily, practical action, articulated sacramentally in the common meal of remembrance, centred on the symbols of bread and wine.
"Christians shared their financial resources, assets and skills, and put in place administration for relief work in aid of the dispossessed, poor and needy.
“The New Testament letter writers often emphasised that Christians should consider themselves equal with one another, and this is still recalled in many liturgies - "though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread."
"That original communion is not as universal as it used to be. Many people today live in situations of deprivation and poverty. We may still be branches in the same Vine, but are we still in full loving community? What are Christian responsibilities towards the nourishment of the poor?
"Many are asking questions about food production and supply systems. Crops and food supplies are at risk from not only poor governance, but changing environmental conditions, irregular rainfall, floods, droughts and storms.
“If we truly want to help feed the world, we need to prevent further dangerous climate change, by cutting the greenhouse gas emissions in the food chain. However, we also need to support sustainable development in poor economies, through Fair Trade.
“Christian Ecology have summarised the key principles that all churches may like to consider, particularly during Lent. At the centre of this group of food principles is the theology of our shared daily bread - what works for Britain can work for Burkina Faso. The LOAF principles emphasise that all can prosper from eating locally produced food, grown organically, using animal-friendly rearing and Fair Trade."
Lent, which begins on February 22nd, is traditionally a time of fasting for many Christians, and this year CEL is asking supporters to try and eat only according to 'LOAF programme principles.'
Churches keen to use their LOAF can download recipes and ideas to try from CEL’s website.
February 7th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross