Individual resources for impacting change through buying, selling, raising and consuming food varies. Even the smallest effort can serve as an educational and awareness tool to impact others' views and behaviors. In addition, each act is a positive direction for preserving life on this planet so that our ecological and human communities may flourish. We invite you then to consider these aspirations as you choose which actions you investigate and enact.
Specific Individual Actions - Buying, Selling, Raising and Consuming Food
- Eat low on the food chain. The environmental cost to produce a plant-based diet is dramatically lower than that of a meat-based diet. Many cookbooks offer easy-to-make, inexpensive and tasty recipes to help us reduce our intake of animal-based foods. You may also find recipes online.
- Use reusable bags. Save resources. Many stores will give a discount to customers who bring their own canvas or other reusable bags to carry groceries.
- Buy in bulk. Cut down on cost and packaging. Even some supermarkets offer bulk products, although this might require asking a staff person or manager.
- Join a buying club or food cooperative in your area. These organizations offer whole foods, food in bulk, and minimally packaged food grown organically or sustainably. Congregations as well as individuals can join to purchase earth-friendly food, cleaning products and other supplies.
- Ask the grocery store where you shop to display the origin of its produce. Urge them to indicate pesticides, sprays, waxes, etc.
- As food sellers and producers to label where their products come from to determine distance of transport and whether the products were irradiated or contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
- Ask food sellers to require that their suppliers certify the humane treatment of animals.
- Purchase fair trade--certified products as available. To get started on learning about fair trade foods, or to find where you can purchase some, visit here.
- Share your favorite recipes with others.
- Protect and encourage organic food production and its producers. You can do this by joining a cooperative in your area or visiting an organic farm. To find one near you, visit here. Organic food includes crops grown without the use of conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers or sewage sludge, and animals reared without the routine use of antibiotics or growth hormones.
- Shop at local farmers markets. To find one near you, visit here.
- Plant your own garden and share the harvest with others or homeless shelters.
- Before a meal, make a habit of naming the food ingredients, suggesting where they originated, and give thanks to all that went into bringing the food to your table (see Table Graces)
Specific Individual Actions - Advocacy and Pubic Witness
- Write an article or an ongoing “Food Feature” for your congregation’s newsletter or local newspaper telling people about the discoveries you made throughout the study process.
- Support legislation that requires the labeling of products that are irradiated or contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), distribution of adequate ethical food supplies, effective safety inspection of food production, and realignment of agricultural subsidies to support growing more produce and the viability of small farmers.
- Take friends, families, and school groups on visits to organic farms and explain to them what you know of sustainable, healthy, and humane food.
Please help us add to this list by adding suggestions of your own through the comment section below.