Living Life and LOAFing It

CHRISTIAN ECOLOGY LINK
PRESS RELEASE

Living Life and LOAFing It – Green Christians ask churches to “Use your LOAF !” on sourcing sustainable food

In the run up to Easter, Christian Ecology Link is asking supporters to think and act on how they source food for their church communities, with the aim of reducing the impact of unsustainable agriculture on their local area, and the wider world.

CEL have launched a new colour leaflet on the LOAF programme principles in time for Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras), or Pancake Day, on 21st February 2012.

The key LOAF principles are that food should where possible be sourced Locally, grown and reared Organically, be Animal-friendly and Fairly traded.

There is an action letter that can be downloaded from the website, urging church leaders to adopt the LOAF principles at community facilities.

CEL’s Web Editor Judith Allinson said, “We hope that our members and friends will take the opportunity to join in sending a letter to their church leaders asking that their community LOAF during Lent, and then carry on LOAFing throughout the following year.”

Green Christians are being encouraged to order free copies of the new LOAF leaflet to distribute during Fair Trade Fortnight, which runs from 27th February to 11th March 2012, by sending an e-mail to : jill-publications@christian-ecology.org.uk

The new all-colour leaflet can also be downloaded from : http://www.christian-ecology.org.uk/use-your-loaf.pdf or http://www.greenchristian.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/loafUseYourLoaf.pdf

CEL members and friends are being asked to submit LOAF-themed recipes which will be uploaded to the new website : http://www.greenchristian.org.uk/archives/category/food/recipes

CEL’s Secretary, Barbara Echlin said, “Start the LOAF ball rolling in your own church by serving pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and make them with local free range eggs, organic milk and Fair Trade sugar. Ample food for all !”

Guidance for LOAF campaigners includes the suggestion to send the campaign letter to local church leaders and regional church administrators; and asking cathedrals, conference centres, educational venues and large churches with a refectory or cafe to take part.

CEL’s Information and Analysis Officer, Jo Abbess said “Good food is holy food – and good food comes from well-treated plants, animals and workers too. It’s not enough to choose organic over intensively-farmed – we need to choose co-operative food growers over convenience store profits.”

ENDS

NOTES FOR EDITORS

1. The LOAF principles were developed several years ago by Christian Ecology Link, and the new all-colour leaflet has been produced to accompany the launch of a letter-writing campaign – asking leaders and managers of all Christian venues to “Use their LOAF !”

2. LOAF stands for : Locally produced, Organically grown, Animal friendly, Fairly traded.

3. The full text of the LOAF letter is below. Members and supporters are asked to modify it as they wish, or print it as it is from the website.




Dear

As a supporter of Christian Ecology Link (CEL), I feel that many present aspects of food production imperil the wellbeing of Creation. This is why I am writing to tell you about CEL’s food campaign – LOAF – and to ask you to consider following these guidelines.

CEL is asking churches, cathedrals, districts, diocese offices, and Christian holiday, retreat and conference centres, schools and colleges to try to source food which is :-

* Locally produced

Supporting local and national farmers and producers strengthens local economies and communities, and lowers carbon emissions. We need to combat the nonsensical policy of importing food which could be, and indeed is, grown and produced here only for export.

* Organically grown

Subsidised industrialisation of agriculture leads to severe biodiversity losses, to soil depletion, water pollution and agrochemical resistance. Organic farming is key to the recovery of interdependent ecosystems. Supporting organic production is also central to the struggle against GM biotechnology, which poses threats to other crops (via cross-pollination) and biodiversity.

* Animal friendly

UK animal welfare standards are higher than many countries. But shops still sell produce from hens caged, beak-trimmed and bred for unnaturally fast growth rates; pigs confined to barren sheds, teeth clipped and tails docked, many pregnant sows in farrowing crates; turkeys in dark, dirty sheds where they develop lameness and burns. The wellbeing of animals is entrusted to us. Will you consider sourcing only free-range eggs and free-range, organic or outdoor reared meat ? Also, a shift to a much higher proportion of vegetarian/vegan cooking is also vital as meat and dairy production requires far more land and water and is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions.

* Fairly traded

In a world where trade justice seems to recede and trade policies assist large producers rather than small producers, a commitment to serve only Fairtrade tea and coffee, for example, would signal support for the one certification guaranteeing minimum remuneration and community investment.

I feel that we are called to renew, heal and restore God’s creation: an immense commission only to be realised by infinitesimal everyday acts – in His grace.

Please find enclosed CEL’s new LOAF leaflet. More may be downloaded free from : http://www.greenchristian.org.uk/resources/loaf

I look forward to your response.

Yours




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