It’s feeling like fall here in Michigan. The days are getting shorter, the nights getting cooler, and the leaves are turning their brilliant shades of red and gold. Fall harvest celebrations are upon us, and they are great opportunities to share a “Cool Harvest” with your faith community.
Click here to get national Interfaith Power & Light’s free kit designed to help you host a Cool Harvest Potluck with your friends or faith community.
As you may know, there are many ways our food system and our food choices affect the climate. Factory farms are not only terrible places for animals, they create a huge amount of pollution. From cattle methane emissions to hog waste “lagoons” that foul waterways, the way we produce meat, and the huge quantity of it, contributes a large portion of global warming pollution. This is why one of the first and simplest things we can do to reduce our carbon “foodprints” is to eat less meat.
Another step in cooling our diet is even simpler: reducing waste. It’s estimated that nearly half of food produced in the U.S. is eventually thrown away. That means all that energy used to grow, transport, prepare, and package that food was wasted, too. With too many people in our country still hungry or food insecure, this is another unjust consequence of our modern industrial food system.
Modern agribusiness — which favors toxic pesticides, petroleum-based fertilizers, GMO foods (genetically modified), distant farm-to-plate transportation — exacts a heavy toll on the atmosphere. It is estimated that nearly one-fifth of climate change pollution comes from the food industry.
Food that’s healthier for the planet doesn’t need to be complicated or hard to find. Often, it’s right in our own backyards. Make organic seasonal vegetables the centerpiece of your meal and get produce from local organic farms when possible. Finding new ways to connect with and support your community through food can be very rewarding.
We hope that you find the Cool Harvest Potluck kit useful for leading a food, faith and climate activity for your friends, family, or congregation this fall!