Ethics and Diplomacy of Food: Wisdom from Mahatma Gandhi & Jain, Jewish, and Sikh Traditions
Hindu scriptures call food, Brahman, the Divine Reality. In our contemporary world, the human right to nutritious and life-sustaining food is threatened by environmental degradation, overconsumption, and waste. Food insecurity has even become a problem in developed countries. This crisis behooves us to commit to the culture of sustainability and care for the earth. This session of scholars and practitioners explores the ethics and diplomacy of food. The focus is on Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings of sustainable ways of agriculture and consumption. The session also focuses on the teachings and practices of Judaism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism regarding specific dietary laws, food choices, traditions of public feeding, and food diplomacy. Furthermore, food diplomacy can also decolonize Western foodways and their impact on local food traditions, promoting the preservation of traditional indigenous cuisine, which is integral to a culture and its religious practices.