Workshop connects food choices to climate change

When you sit down to eat, what you’re gobbling up could be having an impact on the climate.

That’s the focus of a workshop scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 6, at Cornell College’s Smith Dining Hall in the Thomas Commons. Iowa Interfaith Power & Light (Iowa IPL) will hold its Food, Faith, Climate program from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

“People don’t realize how much our present food practices contribute to climate change and also how much we can each do individually to reduce our carbon ‘foodprint’ to heal the climate,” said Iowa Interfaith Power & Light’s Sarah Paulos. 

According to Iowa IPL, one third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are connected to the food system. This workshop is about making climate-friendly choices and exploring how faith is a part of those choices.

“Given the stewardship of creation entrusted to us on this fragile planet, I believe we can make a commitment to learn how to eat and shop in ways that are more climate friendly,” said the Rev. Catherine Quehl-Engel, chaplain of Cornell College.

Participants will discuss what religious faith traditions say about sustainable food systems, examine household food practices, and create a plan to make more climate-friendly choices.

A big part of the event also includes the opportunity to network with others.

“When participants realize they are not alone in their concerns or their desire to alleviate climate change, it’s like the light going on,” Paulos said. “Part of the mission of our organization is to build the body of faithful who want to take action on climate changeand the first step is for people to meet one another.”

Participation is free, thanks to donations from the Cornell College offices of Civic Engagement, Intercultural life, and Spiritual Life, First Presbyterian Church of Mount Vernon, Seeds of Faith Lutheran Church, Sustainable Environmental Resource Initiative, and Mount Vernon United Methodist Church.

Students and Community members are welcome to attend. Participants are also invited to lunch at the Hilltop Café at noon. Lunch costs $8.50 for community members.

Organizers are asking those who are interested to register prior to the event.