Lack of access to fresh food is an environmental justice issue. A commitment to ethical eating requires understanding who in your community or surrounding area has access to nutritious food and who doesn’t, and exploring the barriers that prevent people from eating fresh food in your community. Some examples include:
- accessibility, cost, and preparation time
- lack of grocery stores
- lack of land for growing food and lack of knowledge about cooking and nutrition
- lack of control over the kinds of food served in public institutions
Eating local food can: taste better since it is harvested when it is ripe, save money if you grow it yourself, increase food security because it won’t be mixed with food from all over the country, decrease fuel emissions associated with shipping food, and support the local economy.
Eating ethically should not be something only for the elite or economically advantaged. Rather, ethical eating should be a whole community endeavor. Determine what the barriers to food justice are in your community and how you, your family, and/or your congregation can help eliminate those barriers.
- Find local farmers, butchers, community-supported agriculture (CSAs), farmers markets, and more at Local Harvest.
- Seafood Buying Guide: A guide from Food and Water Watch to seafood choices that are better for your health, the environment, and communities.
- Join the Community Food Security Coalition email list to keep up with local food issues, resources, and events around the country and the CFSC Policy email list to receive policy updates on national legislation relevant to community food issues.
- “Can We Afford to Eat Ethically?“: An article about one woman’s experiment to see if it is possible to eat SOLE (sustainable, organic, local, and ethical) foods for a month on a food stamp budget.
- Share ethical food with your community by preparing meals for soup kitchens with homegrown vegetables and donating food that is sustainably grown to food pantries.
- Have your church designated as a CSA drop off site. Donate any unclaimed shares to a food pantry or soup kitchen.
- Start a community garden, either on your church’s property or on vacant land in the community. Plant a Row for the Hungry. Test the soil for heavy metals.
- Host a day of workshops for the community to increase knowledge of food and food issues. Are there members in your congregation who know how to grow vegetables? Save seeds? Cook simple, inexpensive, nutritious meals? Can and preserve food? These skills can help save money and make fresh foods more accessible.
For additional resources and links to learn more, see the ethical eating and food justice main page.