* Begin each meal with prayer. Offer thanksgiving for all the love and labor that has gone into the meal, and pray for those who go without food. (See Table Prayers below for a few suggestions.)
* Buy local, seasonal produce from a farmers’ market or CSA
* Grow something edible—even if it is only an herb in a flowerpot.
From Container to Kitchen: Growing Fruits and Vegetables in Pots
by D.J. Herda
* Start a small vegetable garden. To get started try:
Rodale's Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening
"Organic Gardening" by Rodale (published 6 times a year)
"Mother Earth News"
On the Web:
The Seed Savers Exchange @ www.seedsavers.org
* Use Companion Planting as a sustainable way to protect your garden from pests and disease. Plant marigolds, chrysanthemums, chives, onions, garlic, basil, horseradish, mint or thyme among your garden plants. Their natural odors and root secretions repel some insects. Check with your local county or university extension office for a list of what works best in your area.
* Take part in a community garden.
* Compost food waste. Or find a gardener in your church who would appreciate having all your food scraps. Use a small compost bucket on your kitchen counter, lined with biodegradable bags. When full - freeze them until you have several ready for delivery. Compostable materials are gold to gardeners! Suggest trading your scraps for some fresh produce at harvest!
* Purchase books and periodicals for the Church's Library so that
others may benefit from your research.
* Start small. If eating seasonally or locally is new to you, start with two to three seasonal meals a week.
* Try a new vegetable as a way to support genetic diversity.
* Eat outdoors.
* Sweeten foods with honey instead of refined sugar or corn syrup.
* Aim to eat five fruits and vegetables per day.
* Choose sustainably-grown or organic foods.
Sustainable Table Website: HYPERLINK "http:// www.sustainabletable.org/intro/whatis/" http://www.sustainabletable.org/intro/whatis/
Mayo Clinic’s guidelines on organic food: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/organic-food/NU00255
* Set your fork down between bites. Savor the taste and be attentive to your body.
* Check out the Slow Food Movement: HYPERLINK "http:// www.slowfoodusa.org" http://www.slowfoodusa.org
* Connect exercise and eating: Try gardening instead of going to the gym for
* Connect with your food during meals. Try eating in complete silence.
Turn off the TV, Ipod, Cell phone, Radio, etc. Contemplate your food
while you are eating it. Heighten the awareness of your 5 senses.
* Read the labels—know what you are eating.
* Eat less meat.
Eating one less quarter-pounder a month saves 600 gallons of water!
* Eat real food. Go through your pantry. Read all the labels.
Remove anything containing trans-fats, high-fructose corn syrup, and any
thing artificial: especially, flavor, color, and sweeteners.
* If you are single, eat a few meals each week with neighbors, family, and friends.
* As a family, covenant to eat dinner together every night. Invite every person to take part in the preparation of the meal.
* Become a fan of less-than-perfect fruits and vegetables. Foods don’t have to be flawless or of a certain shape or size to be delicious and nutritious.
* Preserve local produce for seasons when produce is limited. Freeze green peppers for chili, can a batch of salsa, dry some rosemary, use windfall apples to make applesauce.
* Make double recipes of soups, stews, and breads. Freeze half for a quick meal on another day. Cook with neighbors and friends to lighten the load.
* Try a new recipe. (See Cookbooks below)
* Try going a week without a trip to the store. Be creative with the jars and cans that have been hiding in the back of the pantry or fridge.
* Start or join a dinner group in your congregation.
* “Vote” with your dollars by spending your food budget on foods that reflect your values.
* Buy fairly traded products such as coffee, chocolate, or tea. Ask your local supermarket or coffeehouse to carry fairly traded foods.
* Invite a friend to a local farmers’ market or co-op and carpool.
* Advocate for government policies—both domestic and international—that permit countries to make local food production for local consumption a priority.
* Invite a child to cook with you. Teach him/her why you choose the foods that you do.
* Get to know a farmer. Visit a farm.
* Choose meat, milk, and eggs from free range, grass-fed animals.
* Request COOL (Country of Origin Labeling) on foods so you can make an informed decision.
* Befriend migrant workers. Promote fair wages and fair immigration laws.
* Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). If you are single or your family is small, team up with a friend to purchase a share