Environmental Stewardship

Eat lower on the food chain

There are health benefits as well as environmental benefits when we are eating lower on the food chain. To name a few of these health benefits, they include reducing heart disease, limiting cancer risks, and improving your diet. In terms of environmental benefits, producing fruits and vegetables requires less energy and water than most meat. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the meat industry generates a fifth of man-made greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. We can help slow this trend if reduce our meat consumption. At the same time, we are also reducing our water usage because livestock requires a greater amount of water than vegetables or grains. According to PETA, it takes 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef whereas 1 pound of tofu only takes 244 gallons of water. If we eat less meat and more vegetables on a weekly basis, we are conserving water and preserving the environment for future generations. 
New U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines recommend that half of our meal should consist of fruits and vegetables. At parish pot-luck meals, we can strive to bring mostly vegetables and fruits to promote this environmentally-friendly and healthy lifestyle.