Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Convenience Food: Our Culture’s Attempt to Weasel out of the Physical Consequence of Adam’s Sin?

March 27th, 2013 · 47 Comments · Mary and Martha Moments

If you Don't Toil to eat Sweat to get Bread - What are the Consequences

I’ve been doing some more thinking about God’s plan for agriculture since the “Does Satan Hate Bread?” post and after writing about the seasonality of meat.

I was pondering the verse in Genesis when God doles out the list of consequences for the first sin ever committed. Man’s sin damaged the threefold harmony of the Garden of Eden – perfect harmony with God and God’s law, with oneself internally, and with the natural world.

Imagine: Adam did not have to deal with internal conflict or tension, sexual temptation, or a feeling of being distant from God and wondering what God’s will is for his life.

His harmony with creation was perfect. The ground did not need to be worked hard to produce fruit; it just bore great gifts all the time.

Then pride stepped in.

And everything changed.

Man was separated from God by disobedience and the resulting shame.

Man was stricken with concupiscence, the tendency to sin that we feel when faced with temptation to this day. What internal tension and strife this causes us all!

Man’s relationship with the earth was forever damaged as a consequence of sin.

No longer was the earth easy to till and food in casual abundance. No longer were animals all friends; the first physical death in the Garden took place when God made clothing out of animal skin for Adam and Eve. Fear entered the relationship between man and animals.

And God, the benevolent Father, had to discipline.

The root of discipline is “to teach.” All discipline is part of discipleship, teaching the child (or in this case, Adam and Eve) to conform to God’s will and become closer to the person God created them to be.

God’s discipline is perfect.

(photo source)

He teaches us all the consequence of putting ourselves first: We have to work harder.

We have to sacrifice more. The easy life wasn’t right for us, so now we need to feel pain and toil in order to help us to build our self-control and have opportunities for generosity.

God said:

Cursed be the ground because of you! In toil shall you eat its yield all the days of your life…

By the sweat of your face shall you get bread to eat, until you return to the ground, from which you were taken;

For you are dirt, and to dirt you shall return.” (Gen. 3:17-19, NAB)

For thousands of years, man has toiled.

For thousands of years, the physical consequence of sin has been felt by everyone who eats.

The spiritual consequence of sin, of course, is death, which was lovingly taken on the shoulders of Christ two thousand years ago. We can rejoice and praise Him for saving us from that awful fate.

But He never said He was negating the temporal consequence of sin as well.

The toil is still ours to bear.

Modern Agriculture – Toil?

plowing the field with tractor

Lately I hear that many modern farmers describe themselves as “drivers.”

They drive a tractor to plant, drive again to fertilize and kill weeds and pests, and drive around once again to harvest.

Not nearly as sweat-inducing as the toil of the ground in years past.

The use of chemical fertilizers, GMO crops, and broad spectrum pesticides and herbicides make farming easier, and they also demonstrate a certain act of pride on the part of man – that we are in charge of the land, dominating it.

The modern conveniences of food not only support and force that system of mass production, but it means everyone who participates in the cultural food system also participates in avoiding the consequence of sin, the toil of the field. This is not about the farmers; it’s about the culture of “taking it easy.”

When my kids won’t accept a consequence for their actions, I cannot just stop the discipline because it didn’t work. They have to receive another consequence, so that they learn to obey, and to learn from their consequences. (Or at least go to their rooms when they’ve earned a timeout so Mom doesn’t explode on them!)

I wonder: When man collectively eschews the consequence of sin, when we allow our pride and selfishness to compel us to take control of the natural world and dominate it through unnatural means, what sort of second consequence for our impertinence might our good and just God have in store?

Obesity?

Diabetes?

Heart disease?

Crop failure?

Is our modern world experiencing the secondary consequences of trying to avoid the toil mankind earned in the Garden?

And if so, how do we stop the cycle?

I can’t help one last thought:

Do we need to conduct a similar exploration of Eve’s consequence: “…in pain you shall bring forth children…” to reflect the trend of scheduled-for-convenience C-sections and designer births?

See all my Mary and Martha Moments for more faith from the kitchen. (Most of them are much more upbeat and encouraging than this one…)

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47 Comments so far ↓

  • Sarah

    I totally agree. I’ve written about Eve’s side of it like you alluded to at the end. Instead of pain in childbirth bringing our children into the world that lasts for hours or possibly days and normally ends completely once we hold our babies, we now have surgery complications, epidural complications, widespread PPD, etc.

    I’ve never thought about Adam’s curse on the land before, and how we’ve traded that for different complications. Thanks for a great post!

  • Amanda S

    I have a hard time with such statements. And the conclusion of c-sections – had I not had a c-section, both my son and I would have died in childbirth. I was all for a natural birth, but it didn’t go as planned as complications came up 22 hours into labor. While I agree that the rise for convenience isn’t good, I have a hard time with statements about c-section being bad. My son wasn’t a bad thing at all. Would it have been better for us to both die? Obviously, God didn’t see fit for that as HE is the creator and sustainer of life.

    Yes, there needs to be consequences in life. But don’t put God in a box.

    Tammy Reply:

    Amanda,
    I’ve had two c-sections. In my research since then, I have found that many times, doctors perform c-sections not simply for the emergency reason you described, but for convenience or as a consequence of inducing labor.
    For example, my first c-section occurred as a result of the fact that my daughter was breech, I was 1 cm dialated, estimated 2 wks late, and the doctor was going on vacation that weekend. If I had known there was a chiropractic way to turn the baby, I would have opted for that versus what I went through with a c-section. It turns out it was for the best, as she found a plum-sized, degenerative fibroid on my uterus during the procedure that she removed.
    For the second child, I planned a VBAC. Unfortunately, they kept me tied down to all sorts of monitoring equipment and I could not get up and walk around, so the labor progressed very slowly. My temperature went up to 101 degrees after already having a round of IV antibiotics (I had just been recovering from a lower respiratory infection). I could not risk the child, so I opted for a c-section at that time rather than seeing how things might progress over night.
    I do not know how those two c-sections may have impacted my uterus and if the remaining scar tissue may have caused the miscarriage I had between Christmas and New Year’s. I do agree that in emergency circumstances, a c-section is absolutely the right choice for the safety of mother and child. I also recognize that some of the decisions doctors make are generating far more c-sections than are truly necessary.

    Mary Reply:

    Just FYI I have had friends try having their babies turned. Each and every one of them flipped right back over. If you want to go all natural then you do nothing and let nature take its course. That may mean a dead baby, which happened more than 50% of the time back in biblical times. May mean a dead mother, which also happened all the time. I for one am glad all three of my children where born with the help of all modern medicine has to offer. Yup, all 3 c-section, and for medical reasons. My son would not be able to move his legs had he been born naturally, my oldest daughter would have died a month before she was due, and my youngest was breach. If you want to do things naturally, be ready for the consequences of those actions.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Mary,
    It’s ridiculous to assume that by that one sentence, I meant all moms should have their babies in a cave in the woods without any possible medical intervention whatsoever.

    I am only pondering about C-sections for convenience, not all babies ever born via emergency C-section.

    God created man to be brilliant in his mind and with the ability to understand the natural world enough to manipulate it – to save lives, that’s awesome. Sometimes we as a culture push that envelope a bit, but I don’t think the actual act of a C-section fits in that category.

    Katie

    Stacy Makes Cents Reply:

    Well said, Katie!

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Amanda,
    Praise God for your healthy babies! I am not against C-sections; the last wondering was only about those scheduled for convenience, the “designer births.” I changed the wording a bit to express that more clearly.

    Believe me, I’m not trying to box in the omnipotence of God nor am I saying more women should die in childbirth…just that we as a culture are lazy and afraid of pain, and perhaps that’s not what God intended…

    Thanks for helping me to clarify –
    Katie

    'Becca Reply:

    I agree, it’s important to clarify that. Statistics from midwifery vs. obstetrical practices make it clear that SOME C-sections are medically necessary but others could have been avoided.

    An even more disturbing trend in the modern Fertility-Industrial Complex is the use of surrogate mothers and donated eggs and sperm to enable people to create children when they are unable. There are times when I think this makes sense, but far too often it’s because people chose not to have children in their 20s or 30s, then demand that doctors make it possible when they’re in their 40s and their natural fertility has declined.

    I myself was conceived with a superovulator drug because the doctors told my mom she wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally because of her long and irregular cycles–but they didn’t really “let” her try! I had the same type of cycles, but I chose to try to conceive naturally, and although it took nearly 2 years I WAS able to do it. When I was a teenager, we learned that my mom’s aunt also had long cycles, and that’s why her first child was born 12 years after she married; she and her husband were just patient and trusted that God would give them a baby at the right time if they were meant to have one. I’m glad I took that approach, too. (But I can’t blame my parents for following the medical advice they got, and I certainly am glad to exist! I wonder, if I had been conceived naturally and thus a little later, would I still be me, or someone a little different???)

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Amen, Becca…and isn’t it funny when we get to wondering about timing? ;) Katie

  • Tammy

    I appreciate what you said here. I’ve thought about those things, too, when two years ago, our crops did not make due to drought. Last year, when our crops were nearly ripe, they were eaten by grasshoppers.
    I hear people talk about being self-sufficient. In the context they mean, I do appreciate that. They work to provide for their needs in all aspects of their lives to the extent they can. That being said, none of us are truly self-sufficient. We rely on the grace and goodness of God to provide for all of our needs – the air that we breathe, good weather, food, a roof over our head, transportation, and so forth. God is so good that He does provide for us in so many ways through His wonderful Creation. We do need to be cognizant of who truly is the one upon whom we rely.
    Blessings to you and your family.

  • FCW

    I love you and your work, Katie, but this one is hard to swallow :). Modern agriculture not toil? Trust me, as the wife of a full time modern farmer, my “driver” husband toils plenty. He rises before dawn and comes home (late at night) dirty, sweaty, sore and tired. Harvest days are 20 hour days for weeks on end. In our experience, this is the norm, not the exception.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Whoops! Didn’t mean to catch in your throat, FCW.

    My point really was more that as a nation, we’re choosing convenience over hard work, and that causes man to attempt to dominate the earth, rather that to work with the earth to bring forth fruit. I sure wasn’t trying to pick on farmers, and I hope the changes I made (including the title) reflect that more clearly.

    I hope you can swallow those ideas better, but let me know if you think I’m still off the mark. Thanks! (and thank your husband for his hard work, too – he should be working less land because there should be more people working alongside him)
    Katie

    FCW Reply:

    I really appreciate your comments, Katie, and am grateful for the title change and edits; not many bloggers will engage their readers in the comments! You still maintain the point (which is your right, it being your blog!) that driving a tractor isn’t sweat-inducing toil and that modern farming is, therefore, easier and “Not nearly as sweat-inducing as the toil of the ground in years past.”

    I guess from inside the farming industry, where one sees the massive amount of labor the underpaid farmer does, tractors just don’t seem to be a convenience item any more than a washing machine. The technology is more powerful, but what mother is there, buried under eight piles of laundry, who would claim that doing laundry in a machine isn’t toil because she’s not sweating while doing it? Though the brute force of physical labor might not be as demanding, it just allows you (or forces you, perhaps) to do more of it. I doubt anybody with a washboard and no servants had nearly the wardrobe size we do today, or anybody who could only plow a field by hand (horse labor, I suppose, was the first move toward convenience ;)) would be able to farm hundreds of acres. We’re not trying to skirt the curse of Adam by increasing productivity using tractors and washing machines; hard work for the sake of hard work is not a virtue, and technology to work more efficiently and productively is, I think, not man’s dominating nature as much as his using his intellect to subdue it. (GMOs, on the other hand, seem much more malicious in that regard).

    I see and appreciate your point about a culture-wide wholesale shift for convenience over hard work, but I don’t know that the application of that principle to modern farming (the use of tractors, in particular) is illustrative, accurate, or even fair.

    raisingcropsandbabies Reply:

    My husband is a farmer as well. Definitely a farmer. Love your washing machine/farm machine statements! Only farm machines break down more often than washing machines! Definitely toiling to get those things back up and at it.
    And sorting cattle, grinding feed, shearing/dosing sheep, helping pull calves/lambs, sitting in an non-airconditioned cab of a tractor on a 90% humidity day, driving on a tractor mowing oat stumble and dodging the rocks and etc that fly up at you, and worrying and praying over doughts/too much rain/rising taxes/low auction prices/the hike of seed prices/etc… if that is not considered toiling, I do NOT know what is…

  • Mary

    I would also like to point out that farmers are not lazy. They work their butts off. Who, other than a farmer has a job where they have to be up before the sun, work 3 days straight (yeah driving for 3 days and nights) to get their hay in before it rains to that you all can enjoy a piece of toast with your eggs in the morning. Tractors are tools, just like hand tools. Nothing more. Farming is not done my machine, it is done by hard working people who spend their long days and short nights working harder than most people and not making much of a profit from it. Try it sometime and you will change your tune.
    From a born and bred country girl.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Mary,
    Thank you so much for your insight! I’ve edited the post slightly to try to clarify my intent, which was that we ALL as a culture seek convenience, especially in food, far too often, and that causes man to attempt to dominate the earth, rather that to work with the earth to bring forth fruit. We are ALL culpable, especially when I eat that toast and haven’t lifted a finger, neither to sow, harvest, grind, or knead the dough.

    I hope that helps ease your mind about these thoughts!
    Thanks again,
    Katie

  • Sherra Kinder

    Amanda-I agree with you on all points. I too had long 17 hour labor wanted natural and ended csection.
    Tammy-I too agree Csections are dished out far too quickly as well. I wanted a vbac too, but they declined it. I was very disheartened when baby number 2 was 3lbs1oz less than baby #1.
    I also really like Tammy’s thoughts on self sufficiency isn’t us-it is God. Wonderful-shows reliance in Him!
    I think the main thought I wish to add is this: just as some farmers use synthetic chemicals and GM seed, it shows man trusting man, not man trusting God. In reflecting on my childbirth experience in the traditional hospital setting, had I known about all the exercises I could have done like the Bradley Method, which works much better with how a womans body is made compared to being made to lay in a hospital bed, I wonder sincerely if I would have had a more positive birth experience for me and all concerned people involved.
    Bottom line: that is why I do sign petitions against GMOs and share news on Facebook about the fake foods we eat, promote breast feeding, gardening, preserving heritage breeds, etc because continually choosing mans best over God is never a good thing.
    This was another excellent, thought provoking article. Keep them coming!!!

  • Elizabeth Stuart

    Katie, I have enjoyed reading your blog the past couple years as a fellow West Michigan woman trying to eat clean and healthy. However, in this blog post, I feel you have gone too far and make some pretty large statements. As a wife of a farmer, I do not appreciate how you are speaking of some of the hardest working people I have ever met. The average farmer feeds 155 people each year. Yes, they maybe imperfect in   some of their methods at times but to say they are trying to escape the effects of the Fall is uncalled for and I believe somewhat naive. Please do more research next time and always thank farmers for working so hard to feed the world instead of being so quick to throw them under the bus for some disagreements you might have with their methodology.

    Elizabeth Stuart Reply:

    Also, my husband does use pesticides and other things to help the crops grow… but part of his toil, faithfulness to God and care of His environment is carefully measuring how much (or if its needed at all) on certain fields. He doesn’t heedlessly dump fertlizers where it is unneeded. I realize some people may not like this and think he should grow organically, but even organic farmers can put their own versions of “pesticides” on their crops, it just has to be labeled “natural”. There are certain natural things out there I don’t think people are realizing they are ingesting when they eat organically-grown produce… I am not pointing fingers here, I am just saying that just because its labeled organic doesn’t make it necessarily better. Main point – know who is growing your food and always thank them for their hard work.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Elizabeth,
    Please thank your husband for me for growing food and seeking stewardship of the land – no farming will ever be perfect this side of Eden, so I don’t think we need to split hairs there.

    Those 155 people your husband feeds are the root of the problem though – the consumers who insist on faster, bigger, cheaper – they’re driving a culture of escaping work and killing the land via chemicals, perhaps not the way your husband farms, but others out there who are as conscious about their applications. This wasn’t really meant to be a research-based post, just a reflection on the general avoidance of sacrifice and suffering in our culture and how it seems to be in direct opposition to the Scriptural consequence of disobedience.

    I promise – I am not picking on farmers. I honor and respect the hard work that they do, especially because I’m sitting here on my butt on a computer chair instead of freezing it off out in the fields…PLANK in my own eye, right?

    I thought I edited to post to put the weight of the responsibility on the culture at large, not farmers, but maybe I’m still missing the mark?

    Forgive me?
    Katie

    Elizabeth Stuart Reply:

    Thanks, Katie. Many of those 155 people probably live in larger metropolis areas, perhaps without access to land to grow food for themselves… where does the critical thinking/problem solving end? Should the people of NYC, LA, Detroit etc. move away from the city in order to grow their own food? It is definitely a complex issue to say the least… PS I am not saying anyone should move, just emphasizing we cannot single out one group of people as solely responsible for a problem in our culture. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood… *sigh* May His Peace be with you on this Holy Week.

    tonya Reply:

    Pesticides & fertilizers are expensive. Not yo mention the labor, time & fuel to apply them. Farmers are not applying these products Willy nilly because it makes their job easier. Its actually very exact, in some cases GPS guided, and usually in response to soil testing or observation of what weeds are present and how many. A farmers return on investment is small enough as it is. They’re not going to waste money on things that aren’t necessary. For every farm wife who posts on this blog that you feel has acceptable farming practices despite being lumped in with “big ag” there are many many more behind her. Big ag is a stereotype we have to get past if we want to have productive discussions about our food.

  • Katherine

    Katie,
    I understand your premise. For lent, we gave up going out to restaurants for our meals. We already had rules built into our budget and meal plan for how often we go out to eat, but found it to be a crutch on nights I was “too tired to cook” when we had plenty of quick meals in our kitchen at our disposal. How easy it is to just call for delivery rather than save the money, we have already worked so hard for, and eat what we have. (What other consequences are facing, besides no longer having that money available?) And we certainly didn’t grow it, but we both “toiled” in our corporate jobs to earn the money to buy our food. Every time I have wanted to go out during this time, I have been reminded of the even greater sacrifice our Father made in order that we can be with him, and why we so need that gift–because of our sin. It has not been easy. Even now, I’m drinking a Starbucks coffee and will go out to grab a quick lunch because I didn’t quite have the time to deal w/ my mess of a kitchen after a late night last night, and therefore didn’t want to make breakfast or lunch in it this morning. What little work it would have taken. Jesus gave up his life for us. And I can’t even clean the kitchen to honor and remember that sacrifice?

    Anyways, a jumble of thoughts to say that I understand and am grateful for your thought process. From the beginning, I have wondered where I would be at the end of this, and what work God would do in me and my family. Your posts have been part of that for me.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Katherine,
    I’m so happy to be part of your journey – you could have been typing my own thoughts! The simple things – getting out of bed on the first alarm is one of mine, and cleaning up, yes – that we don’t do out of love for Him. I am a lazy being, and Lent is always good to develop my self-discipline. I need more Lent! ;)

    It sounds like God is really working in your heart, and now your story is a part of my inspiration. Thank you and have a blessed Easter!
    :) Katie

    'Becca Reply:

    That is a great choice of fast! I think we’re going to have to do that some year. This year, when I responded to the suggestion that eating on a food-stamp budget is too difficult to do for all of Lent, I estimated how much we spent on restaurants in the year when I had tracked our grocery spending…more of our money went to restaurants than to grocery stores, for a lot fewer meals! That’s humbling.

  • Katie F.

    You might want to look up ‘Back to Eden’ Film. It’s a fantastic documentary on a gardener in Washington who rather than uses human pride to make the soil produce, uses what he sees God doing in his creation (aka nature). He’s not shunning the curse but has put an end to traditional gardening while following the natural laws of creation. Of course it’s not perfect due to the curse but it’s a whole lot better/easier than traditional farming/gardening.

    My husband and I now have a ‘back to eden’ garden and have loved every minute of it!
    Here’s a link to make it easy but you can also search for it online.
    http://vimeo.com/28055108

  • marcella

    I think your premise is really interesting. However I wonder if it’s not that we’re trying to avoid the natural consequences of sin so much as its really that the nature of our work has changed. We don’t all live in our own little plots of land and work to subsist. We live in communities and my husband works very hard at his job and this gives us money to pay the local farm for a weekly box of produce. Both parties are working here, just differently.

    I think we are blessed with minds to use and educate and that allows invention. How grateful I am for plumbing and electricity! Does using them mean I am shirking my work? I don’t think so. I believe we need to use science wisely and thoughtfully, but it is for our use as well as what was initially created and put here on earth for us.

  • Julie

    Thoughts on pregancy/childbirth – - while I had a farily easy pregancy, it was much more difficult than the pregancies of my great great grandmother. She didn’t relax with her feet up for nine months, but the other women of the community WERE able to pick up her household chores when needed, and great great grandma went into labor rested and healthy.

    Like most women today. I worked (outside the home and inside) durring my pregancies – it didn’t matter that I had morning sickness and felt awful. And all of the prental doctor appointments had to fit in around a work schedule (which meant getting up early and going in before work).

    And 48 hours after baby was born – I was at home, with a few meals in the fridge, and strict instructions to get all of the baby paperwork done by the end of the week so he would be covered by insurance. (Compare that to my mother who had a week to rest/recoop in the hospital with strict visiting hours enforced).

    I don’t think that epidurals or painkillers are weasling out of punishment. We find new ways to punish ourselves just fine.

  • Cory

    Wow, Katie, you really tackled a sticky topic here! I’m not sure I agree entirely, but it is thought provoking and I appreciate that.

    I’ve been wondering, somewhat along the same lines, about our assumption that all people in all places should live the same style of life. That’s some pride, there. Consider, for instance, the idea of everyone in Detroit moving out of the city and farming their own parcel is extreme, but could maybe happen in some alternate universe. But try that in Denver…and we’d all starve. Not enough water. The area isn’t suited for farming. Guess that’s why God put massive herds of bison out here. Sometimes I wonder how many people a herd of 2 million bison could feed sustainably…

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Cory,
    I guess I didn’t mean that everyone should farm…me and my brown thumb would certainly starve! ;)

    But I do try to support local farmers who don’t use GMOs and kill their soil with pesticides and chemical fertilizers…perhaps what I should have focused more on than the tractor thing, in hindsight.

    :) Katie

    Cory Reply:

    Oh, don’t worry about it! I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say – an easy thing to do (just ask my husband:) The train of thought to this comment was that, as long as we’re discussing pride-of-man issues, this is one that bothers me – the one-size-fits-all American dream mentality.

  • Sheila

    I can see your getting a lot of flak for this post, Katie. It makes me hesitate to post my own complaint, but I do think it’s important to say.

    I just can’t see that God would *punish* us for not working by the sweat of our brow by giving us diabetes. That’s just not the sort of God he is. He gave us commandments, we follow them, we get to go to heaven … but we are not promised physical heath or comfort for being good, or the opposite if we are bad. Think of the man born blind: “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?” “I tell you, neither this man nor his parents, but that God should be glorified.”

    In some sense I can see that poor health is a natural consequence of taking shortcuts with our food, failing to realize that nourishing our bodies does take work. A lunchable is a false promise, trying to convince us that we can be nourished without working for it. But if lunchables were sinful, why would God punish the person who eats them instead of the person who makes them and sells people on the lie of effort-free food?

    I agree that ill health is a consequence of cutting corners on food, but I strongly disagree that it is a God-imposed punishment. That’s not Who God is.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Sheila,
    No worries! It’s good to hear all points of view – I agree that God is not a vengeful God, but perhaps we’re talking about two sides of the same coin. God certainly designed some punishments in Genesis, since obviously we aren’t in Eden anymore.

    Perhaps it’s not “God giving someone diabetes” (which isn’t really what I meant anyway) but the natural consequences already set in motion by the laws of creation that God Himself designed? Hopefully that’s a more clear way of saying what I thought I meant… ;)

    Thanks for adding to the conversation!
    :) Katie

  • Lenetta Kuehn

    Thought provoking for sure! I might argue that while people are not earning their food by the direct sweat of their brow, their toil is focused in other ways which indirectly provides their food. (also, if it’s in the cards for Kimball baby #4, I recommend reading Birth Without Fear, it talks about how a more direct translation of the birth verse might be “sorrow” instead of “pain”. Regardless, I just keep thinking it shouldn’t be so hard to have babies! Just like it shouldn’t be so hard to eat healthfully – avoiding gluten, grains, dairy, whatever. Ugh!) That said, I am awfully proud to be a farm wife and love using beef and wheat my hubs raised, in addition to our garden produce. :>)

  • Rebecca

    I thought your post was insightful and made me really ponder. Thank you for being bold enough to share.

  • raisingcropsandbabies

    I think you riled up quite a few of us, farmwives! We get what you are saying, but the “Driver” instead of “Farmer” statements and saying the lack of toiling they do feels like a dig on an occupation that consumes so much of our, our husbands, and our families lives. We toil in the land and with the animals so other people can toil at their life’s work.
    Love your recipes! They have helped put fuel in my farmer’s belly and my 4- 7th generation farm kids so they can work hard.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    I did! And I’m so sorry – I love farmers and certainly respect all the hard work of farm families everywhere, on whom I depend for my daily bread and more. Shoulda seen this coming and focused more on the soil/toil with GMOs etc. not the tractor-driving…but I’ve learned a lot in the process and happened upon one reader who needed prayers and wouldn’t have written had this post not touched a nerve, so I’m going to roll with it and trust “Thy Will be done!”

    Thanks for the sweet encouragement –
    :) Katie

  • Stacy Makes Cents

    :-) I love reading these posts. But, you knew that already. Sorry it took me so long to get around to reading it.
    I see your point – and I think I’ve read your blog long enough to know you had NO ill intent, so I’m sorry some people took it that way.
    My daddy is a farmer – but I see where you’re coming from..convenience has gotten us in a LOT of trouble.
    Man took something that God had already made good and tried to make it “better.” We messed up – bigtime.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Now see, I could have just written this:

    Man took something that God had already made good and tried to make it “better.”

    Of course! ;)

    Thanks for the support – I see God’s hand in the publishing of this post anyway, even though it seems like I didn’t think it through… :) Katie

  • Happy

    Hmm it appears like your website ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any recommendations for novice blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Check out the FAQs on my contact page…

  • Amanda via Facebook

    I do see where you were going with your thought process. It is exactly why the Amish do not use modern farm equipment or pain relief during labor: to not “side step” the dicipline of the Lord. I’m not by any means saying farming is easy. I live in a very farm rich area. The people who work on the farms are some the hardest working people around. They literally work from before sun up to after sun down. It is not an easy life style AT ALL. It’s just way harder (more manual physical labor and more time consuming) to do the same job without modern equipment.

  • Charity via Facebook

    There comes joy too, I believe in the toil. Even though childbirth is definitely toil, there is a joy in experiencing it without pain medications. Knowing what your body is doing and surrendering to it brings so much more enrichment than being numb throughout. If we can learn to praise God in the process, it (be it working your garden, or birthing your baby) is definitely something to find joy in.

  • Toil to eat? Interesting perspective - Homesteading Today

    [...] easy way out – has a seriously negative impact on our world, which is reflecting in our bodies. http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/20…-of-adams-sin/ [...]

  • Lona via Facebook

    I had my feathers ruffled for about half a minute. But I could see where you were going with it, so I let it slide. Unless you have experienced the lifestyle, you would have no way of knowing. BTW, I would like to extend an open invitation to all who would like a taste of the blessedness of physical labor to message me. I’ll put your name on a list and contact you this summer when the bean fields need weeding.

  • Bebe

    Hi Katie,
    You certainly provoked a lot of thought here! There’s nothing wrong with that either. I have read interviews with mono crop farmers who stated themselves that their methods do require much less work, but I think that’s because they have so little diversity, they have taken animals out of the equation, etc… The big problem with that is that those modern labor saving methods are very costly, both monetarily and environmentally. The health of the soil in modern farmland is terrible. It’s like a malnourished woman trying to gestate a robustly healthy baby. Ain’t gonna happen, even if all looks fine in outward appearance. Eventually there will be visible symptoms.
    I do believe most farmers work very hard. My grandfather was an orchardist though and I spent a lot of time in that orchard growing region (central Washington state). They work very hard (or did then) but when the fall harvest was done they had a nice chunk of time to rest and recreate before spring IF they kept no livestock. My grandparents did keep livestock when they were younger (personal use) but when they stopped that they were able to have a lot of time off over the winter. They always managed to take fishing trips to the coast for salmon and smelt each summer too. They could do that because they didn’t have to buy, and then work nonstop for the rest of their lives to pay for, huge equipment and mortgaged land, patented seed and artificial fertilizer. My grandpa moved sprinkler pipes by hand (I know because I followed him around like a puppy sometimes and I always wanted to help) and he took cow patties out to the orchards. Under those cow patties was an excellent place to find worms for a fishing trip to a local lake! Which my grandpa also had the time and energy for. They had no farm hands or employees except at picking times.
    There is a very enlightening book that I highly recommend that speaks to the unnecessary burden, both financial and physical, that modern farmers have been duped into adopting. It is a vicious cycle and is responsible for the financial ruin a lot of modern farmers find themselves in, even after years of dedicated and difficult work. The One Straw Revolution, by Masanobu Fukuoka. It contains a fair bit of Buddhist and other eastern religious thought in it but it does not detract from the valuable knowledge shared about the difference between working with the natural way that plants grow in the wild to produce a bounty of nutritious food while building the soil and the folly of modern methods which seek to improve on nature’s ways. It is always folly to try and one up on one’s Creator. There is always a price to pay for violations.

  • Staci via Facebook

    That is a very interesting line of thought! I would live to hear more about Eve’s avoiding their consequence.

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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