How Earth-Friendly Are You?

“When we go to the supermarket, we rarely think about where our food comes from, who produces it, who harvests it, or what it takes to process, package, and distribute it. When many of us think about
agriculture at all, we worry about the economic cost of groceries and not the environmental cost
to our land or the human cost to farmers, farmworkers, and rural communities in the United States and around the world.”

Healthy soil-healthy food-healthy people

Each of the ten statements below is a general statement related to our food choices. Try to describe your current choices.

 1  5  10
Never Sometimes Always

Read the 10 statements below. In the adjacent box, write the number corresponding to your answer. E.g. ‚ 1= Never. When you finish, add the numbers to get a score.

Questions Answers
Whenever possible, I buy fresh organic vegetables. 1. _____________
I limit eating beef to 2 to 3 times a week. 2. _____________
I avoid eating at fast food chains. 3. _____________
I grow some of my own food. 4. _____________
I compost organic food waste. 5. _____________
I avoid genetically engineered food. 6. _____________
I avoid snacks and other foodstuffs with lots of packaging. 7. _____________
I make use of leftovers. 8. _____________
I belong to a food co-op in my community. 9. _____________
I look for Fair Trade labels on coffee, tea, and cocoa. 10. _____________
Score of 20 -69? See tips.
Score of 70+? See resources for ongoing learning.

Tips for Living More Lightly

  1. Using organic food reduces the amount of pesticides in the soil and water.
  2. Eating less meat each week protects the environment. Meat production requires vast amounts of grain, land, and water, and causes air and water pollution.
  3. Eating whole foods is better for our health and for the environment. Processing food wastes valuable resources.
  4. Growing a small garden, even in a large container, creates a reconnection with Earth, water, and soil.
  5. Composting contributes to the quality of the soil and reduces the amount of waste in our landfills.
  6. Learning about genetically engineered foods teaches us that they rarely have any added food value. This new technology raises many ethical questions. We need to be aware of what we are eating and its effect on ecological systems.
  7. Buying in bulk helps to reduce packaging.
  8. Making use of leftovers is a form of “reuse” that reduces the waste on our planet.
  9. Belonging to a CSA or to a food co-op, organic, fresh fruits and vegetables produced and purchased close to home and saves transportation and packaging costs.
  10. Purchasing “Fair Trade.” assures farmers producing the crops just wage for their labor.


For I Was Hungry & You Gave Me Food: Catholic Reflections on Food, Farmers, and Farmworkers, USCCB Washington, DC 20004

Local Harvest
Seafood Choices Alliance – Smart Choices