Dorothy Blair, whose area of expertise is nutrition education, shared with me a draft of a paper on sustainable food systems from that vantage point. The paper enumerates six goals toward attaining a sustainable food system. They are:
- Eat lower on the food chain (which would have positive impact on health, land use, water quality, and soil conservation)
- Eat and act to promote good farming/fishing practices (that is, reward those who do it right)
- Reduce food processing, packaging energy (by eating foods as close to their original fresh state as possible)
- Reduce transportation energy (by eating locally produced meats, milk, grains, fruits, and vegetables whenever possible)
- Reduce food waste (by buying sparingly and using leftovers)
- Eat for social justice (by supporting fair trade initiatives that promote fair prices and sustainable production practices)
...The way we eat also intersects with issues of trade, labor, neo-colonialism, and environmental justice.
...I’d like to touch on one more area directly related to how we eat: hunger and malnutrition. We waste about 3,044 pounds of food per second in the United States. Each year 27% of US food produced for human consumption is lost at the retail, consumer and food service levels. Globally, 4.3 pounds of food are produced daily for every woman, man, and child on earth—enough to make all of us fat. Yet every year, six million children across the globe die as a result of hunger and malnutrition—one child dying of starvation or malnutrition every five seconds. Hunger and malnutrition are responsible for more deaths in the world than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes the human right to food, to secure personal health and wellbeing. The United Nations member states have agreed to reach eight international “Millennium Goals” by the year 2015, the first of which calls for major reductions in poverty and hunger. It has been said that the one major obstacle to eradication of hunger is political will.
This is an excerpt from a sermon delivered at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County, State College, PA.