Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Join the Cool Foods Campaign!

Global food crisis: What you can do

Consider what you eat

Today, the average item of food in the U.S. and Canada travels more than 1,000 miles before it lands on our tables. Through stories and simple "whole foods" recipes, Simply in Season, a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) cookbook from Herald Press, explores how the food we put on our tables affects our local and global neighbors. The cookbook shows the importance of eating local, seasonal food and invites readers to make choices that offer security and health for our communities, land, bodies and spirit.

Increasing meat consumption has helped drive up demand for grain, and with it the price. MCC just signed on to a campaign called the Cool Foods Pledge. Amongst other consumer actions, this campaign is calling for lower meat consumption.

The Cool Foods Campaign "educates the public about how food choices can affect global warming and empowers them with the resources to reduce this impact. Join [the] “Cool Foods” Campaign and help take a bite out of global warming by changing the way you eat."

According to the Cool Foods site, the top five things you can do to take a bite out of global warming:

1. Eat Organic

I'm working on this. I'm focusing on the dirty dozen (see earlier post) and filling in anywhere else I can. It's a slow process, but do-able.

2. Reduce meat and dairy consumption.

We've never been huge meat/dairy eaters. Often as not, we have a small amount of meat distributed in a larger vegetable/rice stirfry with a small amount of chicken or taco soup with a pound of hamburger (that feeds all of us with leftovers.) We greatly reduced our dairy consumption when we learned that Lil Dude was dairy intolerant. The toughest one is breakfast. I have a family of cereal addicts. The cereal is highly processed and dh isn't big on the double expense of buying organic milk. This is the worst meal of the day for us.

3. Avoid processed foods.

Except the cereal, we do pretty well. Again, the gluten/casein free diet that LilDude is on has helped us immensely. But the cereal is our downfall.

4. Buy locally grown foods.

I'm trying. But it's hard. It's been terribly cold and wet here. I can't even find local lettuce yet. I've been buying local spinach (but it's not organic and it's on the dirty dozen, so I hate that) and asparagus, but not much else. Yet. I'm eagerly waiting for garden produce. I have been slowly harvesting lettuce from our raised beds. We've happily eating taco salad several times over the last few weeks (with our locally grown, grass fed beef). All year we have chicken, beef and vegies thanks to canning and/or our freezers. But fresh? It's rough this year.

5. Say no to packaging.

That's automatically easier when we aren't buying much processed food. The biggest habit I lack is using my grocery bags. I've repeatedly had to send one of my big kids back out to the car to get them before we go to checkout. Do they say 40 times make a habit? Working on it...


Teddi said...

Hey, girl--You're inspiring me!
#1 and #4: We signed up with a CSA in Corvallis and got our first farm box yesterday. Yummy organic vegies--lettuces, spinach, shallots, beets, carrots and the last of their winter storage potatoes that roasted up like sweet, creamy candy! M-mmmm!
#2: Tough one. We love our cows and pigs in this house. I'm setting a goal of one meat-less dinner/week, and we'll build from there.
#3: ARGH! That would mean no Cheetos, right? That's a baby-step I'm not ready to take, yet!!
#5: OK, OK. Gotta' get me some grocery bags.

bjc said...

Cutting back on meat and high-fat dairy products is not only a good way to cut calories - its an easy way to live a healthier life. Cutting back just 15% (or one day out of seven) is enough to reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. Seriously. Plus, you'll likely save money too by serving 1 or 2 meatless meals a week. I just began working for a nonprofit public health campaign called Meatless Monday. Our website ( is a great source of information on meat reductions - They've also got tons of meatless recipes and information on alternative sources of protein

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