Thought for October

What can I do?

Pray: In this Harvest Season give thanks for our local farmers, fishermen, food producers and the beauty of the changing seasons. Ask God’s blessing on the people and areas you are grateful for.

Speak Up: Read the Tear Fund Climate Emergency Facts here >. Sign their petition asking leaders to effect change. Encourage others to do the same.

Inspire Others: Wear your re-usable face mask with pride! Buy people re-usable shopping bags for gifts. Show off your Fairly Traded goods and clothes….simply modelling some small changes will encourage others to do the same.

Live differently: What is the one small change you can make this week or month? Could you reduce the air-miles in your food shop? Could you buy one more product that is fairly traded? Have you reviewed your energy sources?

Learn More: There are so many organisations (Christian Aid, Tear Fund or Greenpeace are good starting places) and books (God’s Green Book by Webb and Sleigh, Everyday Justice by T+C Sine, L is for Lifestyle by R Valerio)

My Food and Fair Trade

We go to the shops to buy food and often eat it without much thought as to where it came from and how it was grown, transported and processed to arrive on our plate. Often we throw away the scraps with little thought too.

This month take a moment to look at one item a week in your weekly shop. Consider, where it was grown, how and who cared for it. How was it harvested/slaughtered and then processed, including the delivery chain, to get it from the producer to your plate?

As stewards of God’s creation we should look at the welfare of farmers and other producers, whether in the UK or abroad, and whether they are being paid a fair price for their work. We should also consider the welfare of the land and its impact on soil degradation, river pollution by fertilisers and pesticides for example. If we eat meat we need to consider the welfare of the animals from pre-birth to slaughter. We should also consider the transport miles, by road, air or sea, and the environmental impact. We should also consider any processing or packaging such as coolers or freezers, plastic packaging and their environmental impact.

We have a choice as to where and how we buy food. Buying local and produce in season will reduce air miles and other transportation costs. You may have local butchers and fruit and vegetable shops as well as jar refill outlets to reduce the use of plastic packaging. Buying organic will improve soil sustainability and land pollution. ‘Fairtrade’ endorsed goods help ensure producers in developing countries are paid a fair wage and have reasonable employment conditions. Free range or organic animal produce improves the animals living conditions. This may be more expensive but perhaps we should consider eating meat and other animal products less often to encourage better animal husbandry.

In the UK over 10 million tonnes of the food we buy is thrown away each year (according to Friends of the Earth) Look at and other websites to get ideas for using up scraps.

Evelyn’s Summer pudding

(to use up spare bread that is stale)

  • Allow 2 apples and 2 slices of white or brown bread per person (You can also use any summer fruit such as raspberries or blueberries )
  • Stew the fruit (apples peeled and finely chopped), with a little water and add sugar to taste.
  • Add in the bread, torn up and mixed in.
  • Add a little custard powder or an egg to thicken the mixture.
  • Bake at 180 C for about half an hour.
  • Serve hot or cold

Tuck in and enjoy reducing waste food!