The food that we consume as a part of the Thanksgiving holiday impacts the health of our climate and our communities. For this reason, we at NCIPL would like to share the following resource from the national office of Interfaith Power & Light (IPL). Many blessings as you gather with your families and friends next week in a spirit of gratitude!
“Today more and more people are concerned about where our food comes from and how eating meat affects the climate. For some people that means becoming vegetarian but for many others it is about making conscious choices about when meat is eaten and where it comes from. They don’t give it up completely but choose to eat a little less meat. And there are many options for choosing local, organic, and humanely raised foods.
Factory farms have been shown to be a huge impact on our environment and our climate. According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, including 37 percent of methane emissions and 65 percent of nitrous oxide emissions. The methane releases from billions of animals on factory farms are 70 times more damaging per ton to the earth’s atmosphere than CO2.
The good thing is now we have many alternatives with a wide range of socially responsible, small-scale farms that produce locally. This alternative produces high-quality food and supports farmers who produce healthy meat, eggs and dairy products using humane methods. You can also choose to add more plant-based items to your meals.
The FAO also reports that currently one-third of the food we produce is either lost or wasted. The global costs of food wastage is in the range of $2.6 trillion a year, including $700 billion of environmental costs & $900 billion of social costs. Whether we over shop for the meal or never get around to finishing our leftovers many Americans end up having food go bad.
Thanksgiving is a time of year that honors all that we are grateful for. It is a celebration of the bounty provided by the earth… and a holiday where people of all faith traditions can gather their loved ones and be thankful for all we have. This guide talks about three ways we can celebrate while lowering our carbon footprint. As you plan your Thanksgiving, keep climate in mind.”