By Terry Wiggins
Earth Day, April 22, 2016, is a Friday, and the Earth Justice Ministry will show a free film, called “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret,” at 7:00 p.m. in the Common Room. Called “the film that environmental organizations don’t want you to see,” Cowspiracy reveals the absolutely devastating environmental impact that large-scale factory farming has on our planet and offers a path to global sustainability for a growing population.
Before the film, at 6:00 p.m., we’ll share a meal. The feast will be provided by you. It will be our second annual “Eat Your Values” potluck. Because our daily food choices are ethical decisions, we ask that you bring, as much as possible, food that is:
- Low on the food chain, i.e. more plant-based than meat. The same land that can feed 100 people on grain can feed only 4 or 5 people on beef. When we feed grain to cows, and then eat the cows, we have wasted 96% of the food energy in grain. If we eat low on the food chain, it takes less of the planet’s resources to support us, leaving more food for others and more land for nature.
- Local, i.e. grown and processed as close to home as possible. Though we know it’s not easy to eat local food in Wisconsin, you can do it to some extent, with mindfulness, effort and planning. Keep in mind that it takes more than 300 calories of energy to transport a 15-calorie strawberry from California to Milwaukee. Eating locally conserves energy, supports local farmers, and provides fresher, tastier, more nutritious foods.
- Low trash. Every day in a similarly-sized city, an area the size of football field filled 8 feet deep becomes permanently unavailable to us because we fill it with garbage. Minimizing waste, including recycling and composting, saves resources, money, and landfill space.
- Organic. In modern agriculture, food is treated with fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, ripening agents, coloring agents, etc., which leave residues in our foods. Studies show that these chemicals are unhealthy for us, and unhealthy for the environment. Then there are genetically modified foods, and no one knows what the long-term effects of these will be.
We’ll discuss our “Eat Your Values” principles and the film. Please join us for a meaningful evening on April 22.