Julie Roy, Chris Geith, and Amy Kapp are pleased to introduce our Mindful Eating Guide. This is the result of several years' study and exploration of the UUA's 2011 statement of conscience on ethical eating. Amy Kapp tells her history with this issue at our church and the development of the Guide:
"Shortly after becoming a member of UUCGL in October 2010, I signed up for an Adult Religious Education class called Choices for Sustainable Living. The class covered topics including food production as well as other environmental concerns. Although I had already believed I was environmentally conscious by trying to recycle as much as possible and minimizing my consumption of meat, I learned a lot in that class that helped me take on new environmentally-sustainable activities.
In addition to permanently changing my programmable thermostat settings, I began a vegetable garden for the first time in my life. I also decided to join a CSA, Community Supported Agriculture, where I pick up locally and organically grown produce for 19 weeks from June through October. I have continued to learn about these and various other topics, such as canning food, through the Mindful Eating group.
Before I joined UUCGL, Ethical Eating was chosen as a Congregational Study/Action Issue at the 2011 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association, and a small committee at our church was formed to study the topic. They chose to call the issue Mindful Eating rather than Ethical Eating. The group explored the topic, shared their findings with the church, and offered some Adult RE classes to further the membership’s understanding of Mindful Eating.
At this time, the members of the Mindful Eating group have chosen to focus their energies on their individual gardening and sustainability efforts in addition to other church activities. Prior to dismantling the group, Julie Roy, Chris Geith, and I created a Mindful Eating Guide, which can be used to inform church groups and leaders about selecting, preparing, and serving snacks and meals at church events.
Our first event highlighting the use of the Mindful Eating guide will be at the second annual All-Church Picnic on Saturday, September 7. The church will provide local, pasture-raised meat for hamburgers as well as local organic vegetables to be grilled. Excess food will be collected in a bin to feed Volunteer Coordinator Corie Jason’s chickens. We have asked that you bring your own reusable table service so that we do not create waste with disposable dinnerware.
I invite you to study the Mindful Eating Guide that we created and consider how you can incorporate these goals into church events, from snacks during RE classes to Circle Suppers to churchwide events, as well as your own lives. The ideas suggested in our Mindful Eating guide fit well with the calls to action listed at the end of the statement of conscience. It is part of our larger association’s mission to consider the consequences of our food choices, and I hope that it becomes a greater focus at our church."