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Getting Started with Food: Eating Well for People and Planet

by Taun P Chapman last modified Mar 26, 2013 01:45 AM
We all eat - most of us eat many times a day! How and what we eat influences our own health and has a lasting impact on land use, water and air quality and global greenhouse gases. You are invited to explore your relationship to this important part of your daily life and assess your impact and what actions you can take.
When Mar 10, 2013 to Mar 18, 2013 (EST / UTC-400)
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Does how we eat really matter?

"Our relationship to food is a reflection of our relationship to life. The loss of our connection to the natural world is reflected in our culture's barren relationship to food. Reclaiming a sacred connection to our food is a radical act that can transform our relationship to the earth, whether we live in the heart of the inner city or on the windswept plains. Food nourishes our souls as well as our bodies through the simple acts of growing, preparing, and eating it, providing unending sensory delights and a celebration of the mysteries of life.

The ways in which we grow and use food have profound implications for the rest of the Earth's inhabitants, affecting the quality of our soil, water, air, ecosystems and communities, as well as our own physical and spiritual health. Industrial agriculture is destroying the soils, depleting the waters. eliminating biodiversity and poisoning the planet - putting our future food security at risk.

The good news is that every day, we can participate in making the fundamental changes through the choices we make, the stores and suppliers we support, the methods of farming we endorse with our dollars, and the food we grow ourselves." Susan Kleihauer (Earthlight: Magazine of Spirituality and Ecology Fall 1996)

" To us, living simply has many implications for the way we eat. One of them is that our food should be produced and consumed with as little harm to us, to others, and to the environment as possible. The present world food system does not minimize this harm; on the contrary it is steadily increasing it." Alice Newton
(From Taking Charge: Personal and Political Change through simple living.)

Getting Started

Queries: What aspects of eating do I enjoy most? How would I eat if I saw the Earth and my body as sacred? Do I take food for granted? What are my major considerations in choosing and buying my food? What would I like them to be?

Create a vision: Imagine and describe your intention to align your eating with your heart-felt values. Consider using sentence stems such as " When I see the Earth and my body as sacred I . . "  or "When I choose and buy my food, I make every effort to . . ."
Take stock: To start this journey of understanding your impact and choices, we encourage you to assess where you are now. You can do this by completing a simple assessment tool.
We suggest you complete this tool and keep it in order to review it at the end of the process to see and celebrate the changes you have made!
Preparation: Watch the animated short: The True of Cost of Food
True cost of food

Foster Alternatives:
  • Discuss your intention to explore how you can use your food choices for personal and planetary health with your friends and family. Invite their support. Invite them to join you!
  • Consider developing a personally meaningful grace.
  • If you take time to meditate or be present in silence during the week, use some of that time to imagine a world where healthy food is a right for all.
  • Learn more about the Slow Food Movement and its history at


We recommend giving yourself a week to begin your initial reflections. In the following weeks, we will examine the specific ways in which what we eat does really matter.


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