Bolivian coca grower harvesting her leaves in Chura, Cocayapu region (Bolivia) Bolivian coca grower harvesting her leaves in Chura, Cocayapu region (Bolivia) 

Pope Francis: Know the value of food

Pope Francis sends a message to the participants at an FAO event called “Water, Agriculture and Food. Building tomorrow”, taking place at the Polytechnic University of Madrid.

By Francesca Merlo

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) held a day dedicated to water, agriculture and food at a university in the Spanish city of Madrid.  

Pope Francis begins his address by stating that the theme of the event reminds him of the prophet Isaiah who “compares the Word of God to the rain that waters the earth”.


“Rain, the harvest and food”, says Pope Francis, are all closely linked in the Bible. They are interpreted with gratitude, he says, “never from the point of view of voracity or exploitation.”

The faith of believers, continues the Pope, is transformed into a responsibility to not be caught up in malicious calculations that keep us from helping those most in need. He explains that “the tomorrow we all wish for can only come from loyal, fraternal and generous cooperation.”

Leaving nobody behind

The Pope says that nowadays humanity is facing several complex problems that require international collaboration, because “in this way, the right decisions will be taken and a solid foundation will be laid to build a just and inclusive society, where no one is left behind.”

“Water is paramount and yet, unfortunately, not everyone has access to it” says the Pope. “It is imperative that it be better distributed and managed in a sustainable and rational way.”

The Earth: life for the human family

Pope Francis goes on to explain the importance of caring for the environment. “When this is not done”, he explains, “the earth ceases to be a source of life for the human family”.

This is also why we should educate children and young people to eat healthily, says the Pope, as “proper nutrition means knowing the value of food”.

Finally, Pope Francis urges us to see the dinner table as “a place of meeting and fraternity, and not just a space for boasting, waste or fickleness.”

13 December 2018, 15:17