Eat, Pray, Save the Planet

Oct 15, 2010 | What's New

There’s a food revolution going on. It started a decade ago with a renewed interest in organic food, and it now encompasses everything from humane farming to the “locavore” movement. We’ve become more aware of how food choices affect our health. But do we know how they affect the health of the planet? The needs of the hungry? And is your cheeseburger causing global warming?

These are some of the questions Interfaith Power & Light aims to answer with our new food program. And what better day to start than tomorrow – World Food Day.

Food and religious life are already intricately intertwined. We have communion, Passover, and Ramadan. But we hardly ever think about where food is coming from, how it impacts the environment, and how to use food choices as learning and teaching opportunities.

Many faith communities are already addressing food concerns. Some have partnered with local farms through community-supported agriculture, some are hosting farmers markets, and some have even planted gardens on their properties. We would like to hear about those programs so that we can highlight and share them on our website.

We intend to dive into the details surrounding food issues: are organic strawberries flown in from Chile better than local conventionally grown ones? Is grass-fed beef really a healthy choice for the planet? And how is climate change already altering crops and food production?

Starting now, we will provide some resources and a few basic tips on faithful eating. But we also want to hear from you. Let us know if your faith community is engaged in these issues. What are some of the ways you’ve found to talk about food in your congregations? How do you teach about the connection between healthy food and a healthy planet? How do you link feeding the hungry with our own food choices? Comment on our website here… and viva la revolucion!

Let us know your thoughts!

Steps you can take today:

Eat: Host a low-carbon foods potluck; plant a community garden at your house of worship; gather and donate food; join a community-supported agriculture program (more )

Pray: Create low-carbon food rituals for your religious feasts like Passover, Easter Supper, and Iftar during Ramadan; talk about the connections between food production, food consumption and responsibly stewarding the planet (more )

Save the Planet: Engage your congregations, friends and family in actions supporting sustainability; host educational activities; call your government representatives regarding local, state and national food policy (more )

And stay tuned for IPL’s program as it develops. We are talking to experts, digging deep into the research, and consulting with colleagues and congregations as we develop a Food & Faith program for IPL.

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