by Cara DalCanton
As Catholics, we are called to be caring, mindful people who do their part to help the world in what ways we can. With the release of Laudato Si’, we are told by Pope Francis that this care also extends to the environment in which we live. And in order to care for the environment, we must confront the reality that we are not consuming sustainably on a global level, especially here in the United States. Something needs to change.
Many of us can easily make an impact by choosing to spend our money on foods which come from sustainable farms and/or that are sustainable to grow. Even something as simple as having Meatless Mondays would be a good start, if you don’t want to go big or go home and become the organic, non-GMO Level 5 Vegan.
However, these issues run deeper still than just preaching veganism to everyone. Many people–even here in this city–are living in food deserts and don’t have the means to travel to get healthy food, forcing them to eat the highly processed food of convenience stores and fast food chains. On top of this, many workers in the food industry are severely underpaid. In America, many food subsidies are funneled into the industries in a manner that allows those who write them to profit of them. Because Catholic Social Teaching emphasizes just wages, human dignity, and the environment, we need to be mindful of where our money is going and who we are supporting when we buy our food. It is an entire food system, and it affects no one individually.