Why It’s Important
Food connects us daily to soil, water, plants and animals, farmers, ranchers and truckers, migrant farmworkers, and to those with whom we break bread. Food connects us to national farm policies and the health of rural communities here and across the world. Religious traditions recognize that in receiving food we are ultimately receiving a gift – the gift of a fertile Earth. Other than transportation choices, our daily food choices make up our largest environmental impact (i). In America today, the average food morsel travels about 1,500 miles to reach our plates (ii). Clearly, the choices we make about what we eat and where that food comes from has far reaching consequences.
There are 4 sections below. See each section for specific instructions.Act – 10 possible pointsLearn – 15 possible pointsAdvocate – 10 possible pointsShare – 5 possible points
Act- 10 possible points
Instructions: The Act weekly challenges are designed to be attainable. Pick 1 of the following 3 challenges this week. You decide how you want to achieve the challenge based on your values and what you want to try. You need to try something that will be new for you. Underneath each challenge we’ve listed actions you can take to earn your 10 points. You only need to do 1. (For example, if you pick ‘Eat more protein from plants’ as your challenge and you eat more beans this week, you’ll earn 10 points.) No additional points will be awarded for doing more because we want you to do one thing well.1. Eat more protein from plants. Eating less meat (especially red meat) and dairy products are generally considered two of the more important food-related actions you can take to decrease environmental impact). Actions you can take:
2. Eat more local and seasonal produce. Eating locally grown produce tastes better because the food is fresh, in season, was picked ripe and travelled a short distance. Locally grown foods preserve green space and farmland, promote food safety, promote variety, create community and usually have less environmental impact.Actions you can take:
3. Eat more whole foods and reduce the quantity of processed foods. Eating whole foods means, for example, eating an apple and skinless chicken breast instead of apple juice and chicken nuggets. Whole foods have their fiber, vitamins, and minerals intact which contributes to a strong immune system and protects from cancer, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Processed foods are low in fiber and nutrients; high in sugar, fructose corn syrup, trans fats and chemicals; are addictive and lead to overconsumption. Processed foods also generate a significant amount of packaging waste.Actions you can take:
Instructions: Attend 1 event to earn 10 points.
Advocate- 10 possible points
Instructions: Pick 1 of the issues below and spend a few minutes this week learning about it and making your voice heard to earn 10 points.
Share- 5 possible points
Instructions: Pick 1 of the following actions to earn 5 points.
Submit your Food scorecard by noon on Monday, April 28.
(i)The Consumer’s Guide to Effective Environmental Choices, Union of Concerned Scientists, 1999.(ii) Worldwatch Institute, http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6064