Ethical Eating and Food Justice

Climate Justice At General Assembly

The theme of General Assembly (GA) 2016 is “Heart Land: Where Faiths Connect.” There will be many workshops and activities that tie this theme to environmental, ecological, and climate justice. These presentations may be of interest to individuals and congregations looking for inspiration and projects for their Green Sanctuary action plans.

Also, come by the UUMFE booth in the Exhibit Hall (#222), a.k.a., “Climate Justice Central.” for UUMFE, UU Young Adults for Climate Justice and Commit2Respond newsletters, action alerts, and sign-up stations.


Note:  HR = Hyatt Regency   CC - Convention Center

#221 Building Interfaith Partnerships To Address Climate Justice,  Thursday at 10:45 a.m., HR Union E, UU Ministry for Earth.

Panelists will share how the global events of Paris and Laudate Si get played out in localized environmental justice coalitions.

The Color of Water,  Thursday, 12:00 noon - 12:30 p.m., UUSC, Booth #207, Exhibit Hall C,

Amber Moulton, the UUSC researcher who produced the UUSC report The Invisible Crisis: Water Unaffordability in the United States will be discussing the report in a ‘pop up’ session at the UUSC booth. Moulton will be available for questions and share where to find more information. 

#231 Exploring Regional and Interfaith Grassroots Organizing for Climate Justice, Thursday at 1:15 p.m., CC Union Station Ballroom A, North Texas UU Congregations.

Come for stories and discussion of regional, interfaith, multicultural climate justice organizing that strengthens roots and relationships for localized transformation and liberation.

#257 Sustainable Development and Interfaith Action Against Climate Change, Thursday at 3 p.m., CC Hall F, UU United Nations Office.

Learn about UU delegates’ multi-faith and multinational dialogue at COP21, the United Nations climate conference where the Paris Agreement was adopted, and how we can engage in interfaith climate action in our communities.

#251 Proposed Congregational Study/Action Issues(CSAI) for 2016-2020, Thursday at 3 p.m., CC C220-222, Commission on Social Witness.

Hear advocates for four proposed CSAIs present their issues and respond to questions. Voting for the next CSAI will take place in the General Session II, Friday 8:30am - Noon.

#336 Faith Communities Can Work Together To Reverse Climate Change, Friday at 3 p.m., CC Battelle South, UUs for a Just Economic Community; First UU Church of Columbus, OH.

Faith community leaders will discuss climate change, and practical actions to address the failure of democracy to mitigate its, due to unchallenged corporate power and money.

#355 MORALtorium: The Faith Community and Hydrofracking,

Friday 4:45 p.m., CC Battelle Grand B, UU Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network

The moral implications of fracking, including our health, safety and climate change will be discussed.  Also, strategies will be presented that have resulted in moratoriums that have been successful. Excerpts from the documentary Groundswell Rising will be featured.

 #411 Shared Liberation: Movement Building That Honors Front-Line Communities,  Saturday at 3 p.m., CC Union Station Ballroom A,  Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal.

Through a race, power, and climate justice lens, learn how UUs can stand on the side of love holistically, authentically, and with integrity.

Earth Day Banner 2010If you walk into an average supermarket these days, you’ll find thousands of choices of things to eat. Some things may be grown or produced in low-impact ways at a nearby farm, but chances are that many items for sale contain ingredients whose production has negatively impacted the Earth and her people. As Unitarian Universalists, we are committed to living in ways that respect the inherent worth and dignity of all people as well as the interdependent web of life of which we are a part. With so many choices, how can we find ways to eat ethically?

Fortunately, people all over the United States are thinking about just this right now. Several best-selling books have been written about authors’ deliberations about what to eat, and UU congregations have been engaging in the current Congregational Study/Action Issue, "Ethical Eating: Food and Environmental Justice."

Our website section for Earth Day 2010 is all about Ethical Eating and Food Justice—a lot of great information gathered here for you to explore and use. Update: for Earth Day 2014, we developed an action module on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, which delves even deeper into the justice issues.

Ethical Eating: Food and Environmental Justice was approved as a Statement of Conscience at the 2011 General Assembly. Here’s a short summary of the vote on the statement.

This topic was presented and adopted as a Congregational Study/Action Issue (CSAI) at the 2008 General Assembly in Ft. Lauderdale. The CSAI Core Team, led by Rev. John Gibb Millspaugh, published a comprehensive Resource Guide and a Worship Resources Supplement for congregations to use in exploring the hidden ways our food choices impact our communities and our world. As stated in the Guide, “Ethical Eating: Food and Environmental Justice is personal in nature – involving our free choices of what we put in our own bodies – and global in reach – with implications for ecosystems, human hunger, social inequity, animal welfare, and climate change.” The Ethical Eating CSAI was an invitation for congregations and districts to take this topic and confront it, reflect on it, learn about it, respond to it, comment on it, and take action—each in their own way.

Following the passage of the Statement of Conscience on Ethical Eating at General Assembly 2011, the Ethical Eating Core Team along with some new members was appointed as the UUA President's Advisory Committee on Ethical Eating. Check out the new Ethical Eating website (note: this website is no longer available) which contains much of the information in the original Ethical Eating Study Guide and Worship Resources Supplement used by congregations during the CSAI phase.

In 2013, PACE (President's Advisory Committee on Ethical Eating) joined foices with UUSC to focus on environmental justice and food workers' rights. To honor these workers the kick-off of the compaign is May 1, International Workers Day. 

The Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI) has two excellent discussion courses to support congregations in their ethical eating activities. Menu for the Future and Hungry for Change: Food, Ethics and Sustainability both include many resources and ideas for action projects.