As I mentioned last month, our Care of Creation team at Blessed Sacrament parish has started up a monthly sustainability challenge. I’d like to extend the challenge to you all – this month we challenge you to buy at least one additional type of food/drink from a local source. This could be eggs, meat, milk, greens, vegetables, other produce, beverages, etc.
Here are some ways to consider doing this:
-Seek out your local farmer’s market. In Madison, the Dane County farmers market starts up again at Alliant Energy Center on April 10th
-Order food from local farms, produce stands, orchards, etc. that have drop off sites or store fronts near you
-Look for locally grown or produced food in your grocery store
-A longer term commitment would be to join a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) which can deliver a box of produce at desired frequency
-Not sure where to start? Try milk. It won’t change your grocery bill that much but makes a big difference for farmers, water quality, and small town economies. Virtually of all of Organic Valley’s milk sold in Madison comes from sustainable Wisconsin family farms. Sassy Cow is another well-run local brand.
-Already doing this and ready for the next step? Try buying local meat for the month. It will not only support local family farmers, but also local meat processors with better working conditions than often found in large corporate brands and meat packing plants.
This month’s challenge is a great step to support your local community and responsible farming as well as reduce your own environmental impact. As Pope Benedict explains in his encyclical Caritas in veritate (2009), we are called to recognize that our purchasing has consequences beyond just the dollars and cents:
“It is good for people to realize that purchasing is always a moral — and not simply economic — act.” [Caritas in veritate paragraph 66]
Let me know if you are in using the comments section!