Erynne Gilpin is a Development and Peace member and a Delegate on our upcoming Youth Solidarity Tour to Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Here, she shares with us how her group at King’s University College at the University of Western Ontario made a local meal, and why that is so important.
Food and Justice
On December 10th, the students of the Development and Peace group, at King’s University College (UWO), gathered to break the bread and celebrate a socially just diet! The entire meal was made with ingredients from within a 100-mile radius of our city, in order to support the local economy. What does this have to do with Development and Peace’s focus on environmental and ecological justice?
The food industry is one of the leading causes of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions on the planet. In fact, large-scale cattle, poultry and pork factory farms are the leading cause for methane emissions. Folks around the world are recognizing the potential that dietary choices have to impact social and environmental justice, which are intrinsically inter-connected.
Through supporting a local diet we are supporting diverse forms of justice in a myriad of ways. One such way is that we reduce reliance upon the destructive use of fossil fuels, through minimizing the distance food needs to travel from crop to kitchen.
A Kind Diet
The 100-mile diet fosters community and relationships between buyer and farmer. Although today, we can step into the florescent beauty of the supermarket and pick up a lovely avocado from Guatemala, we do not have the opportunity to thank or enter into a relationship with that farmer. Food is an incredible way to bring people together, whether it be through fair exchange of goods or through breaking the bread with our families and communities. When we know where are food is coming from, and of whose hands it was nurtured, we are able to have a more respectful and attuned awareness to those involved in its production process. Furthermore, this encourages the producer to be offer healthy and fresh food for their suppliers, and to be fully accountable for their produce!
Finally, localizing our diet is a great way to foster a sustainable, resilient and diverse local economy. One of the best ways to address impeding issues of climate change, is to create resilient and self-sufficient communities. Through supporting local trade and exchange, we foster an interdependent economy based upon diverse sectors, goods, and services. If a community is fully dependent upon one large supermarket, the moment something falters within its production practices, the entire community is affected. Through localizing our economies, we are creating a more resilient and sustainable means for future survival and well-being.
We ate: homemade pasta (Ravioli stuffed with pumpkin and goat cheese), a garden-fresh salad, homemade bread with delicious marmalade, butternut squash soup, a local organic pork roast, and finally a delicious apple cinnamon dessert.
We had an incredible time talking about the implications of our diet on the environment as we shared this incredible meal. We lived a fun, creative and delicious alternative to large-scale food industrialization, through our collective meal. Food is an incredible way to foster community, trust and interdependent living. We encourage other D&P groups to celebrate a deliciously local meal with your own communities, families and friends!
- Your brothers and sisters in London, Ontario
By Erynne Gilpin