There is a saying ‘if you really want to do something about climate change, start with the food on your plate’. This is one way to live differently by asking where our food comes from, who has produced and processed it, and what is its carbon impact?
Lent is a time for us as Christians to try to live carefully, kindly and counter-culturally, especially with regard to the world around us. In so doing we can enhance our spiritual awareness and deepen our relationship with God. Lent encourages us to let go of that which entraps us and frees us to discover new parts of ourselves. So it’s a great opportunity to explore our lifestyle – on our own or with others.
February-March is not the most productive time of the Earth’s year in northern Europe, but my hope is to eat more local, more fairly and more sustainably in the 40 days ahead. I will monitor my costs, my choices and my health, and avoid red meat in this period (red meat has highest carbon footprint).
My aspiration for this Lent is to eat as much as possible that is grown seasonably within 30 kilometres of my house. This will come from nearby chemical-free farms, independent shops and community suppliers. It will therefore have travelled less (over 90% of our food costs can be in transport), caused less pollution and supported more local people. If possible I will also try to buy food using local community currencies.
Maybe I’ll begin with some apple compote on day 1 as we still have our own apples in store, harvested from garden fruit trees last November. Soon there will be Spring shoots from bulbs and plants, but most of my diet will be provided from Devon farmers in the form of root vegetables and poly-tunnel grown fruits such as tomatoes or salads.
So I look forward to eating more sensitively and sustainably, and to share my experience along the way – the way of Easter hope and new life on earth as in heaven.
Martyn Goss, Exeter, Devon, England