Green Corner: Caring for the climate with our food choices

Article by Kip Coerper, organist and choirmaster for St. James’ Episcopal Church in Skaneateles and a GreenFaith Fellow. He offers reflections on climate justice and caring in the monthly “Green Corner.”

January is a time to contemplate New Years’ resolutions. If you’re resolved to make a difference for our global environment this year, here are some tips for caring for creation through your food choices.

Reduce food waste: Did you know that in the U. S. about 40% of all food is wasted? And when that wasted food goes into a landfill it generates methane gas, which can be 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide.

  • Could you pay more attention to the food that needs to be eaten in your refrigerator, so less of it gets tossed out?
  • Do you compost your food scraps? Compost can improve your garden and reduce methane dramatically? Check out for suggestions.

Choose organic where possible: Conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables are grown with the use of harmful pesticides like brain-toxic chlorpyrifos, cancer-linked glycophosphate (better known as Roundup), and pollinator-threatening neonicotinoids. Organic agriculture using regenerative farm practices builds soil health (better in the long term for the farm as well as its vegetables), mitigates climate change, and protects air, water, and habitat for wildlife. And all of this provides more economic stability for farmers.

Reduce meat consumption and choose grass-fed: Some people suggest Meatless Mondays as a way to reduce your carbon footprint. That is a good idea if you are eating conventional meat from animals raised in feed lots and barns. Organic vegetables are more healthy for you and the environment than meat from conventionally-raised farm animals.  But so too is consuming meat that is 100% grass-fed.  100% grass-fed beef actually helps the soil because the animals naturally fertilize it. In addition, grass-fed animals are healthier, rarely needing antibiotics, and overall fewer chemicals and antibiotics are introduced into the ecosystem.

Eating out? Ask questions: When you go to restaurants always ask if the meat and vegetables are organic. Where are they sourced? Are they from local farms? Perhaps the chicken is local, the beef is from California: then choose the chicken. Our choices as consumers will help determine the food producers and marketers provide us.

Showing 2 comments
  • Amy

    Great reminders Kip!

  • kate didonato

    great reminders!

    we all need to be more informed..


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