Living Responsibly—Considering Social Justice in Making Food Choices: Make Your Life a Beautiful Prayer

“Therefore strive that your actions day by day
may be beautiful prayers.”
—‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Christine Muller (faculty for the Wilmette Institute’s Climate Change and Sustainable Development and the Prosperity of Humankind courses) provides monthly tips to help us to live more socially and environmentally responsible lives and to treat our physical world with the respect it deserves. We hope that, as we make these tips a part of our habits, we will collectively be mitigating the severity of climate change, reducing human suffering, and keeping the Earth a livable place for the next generations.—THE EDITORS

by Christine Muller

Considering Social Justice in Making Food Choices

Tell, O ‘Alí, the loved ones of God that equity
is the most fundamental among human virtues.
The evaluation of all things must needs depend upon it.
——————————————Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh 100: 203

It is a matter of justice and equity that farmers should not be exploited and should earn a living wage. When you buy Fair Trade food, you help improve the lives of such workers in developing countries. Some examples of Fair Trade items that may frequently appear on your shopping list are bananas, coffee, and chocolate. The World Fair Trade Organization “supports marginalised small producers, whether these are independent family businesses, or grouped in associations or co-operatives.” It “trades with concern for their social, economic and environmental well-being” and “does not maximise profit at their expense.” It provides equal pay for equal work by women and men and is participatory in its decision-making processes. (Artisans making handicrafts and growers of flowers have the same challenges as farmers, and they deserve the same respect for the Fair Trade products they sell.) Charity has its place. But buying products from producers in developing countries at a fair price is a much more respectful way to relieve poverty and more helpful to them in the long term.

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UPCOMING TIPS
Avoid Idling Your Car
Clean Your House with Products Containing No Toxic Chemicals

TIPS FROM 2018
Shower Less  /  Avoid Plastics  /  Purchase Mindfully  /  Why Eat Organic?
The Bees and We  /   Use Energy-Efficient Appliances  /  Shop Smart, Buy in Bulk
Eat Lower on the Food Chain   /   Buy Second-Hand Clothing   /  Recycle Right!
Avoid Single-Use (Disposable) Items

TIPS FROM 2017
Choose Reusable Shopping Bags / Insulate Your House / Go for a Walk or Bike Ride or Car Pool to Meetings / Shop Locally, Support Local Agriculture / Give Up Bottled Water—Go Back to the Tap / Go Solar / Hang Your Laundry Out to Dry / Ethical and Easy Lawns / Buy Clean Energy / Eat Less Beef / Home Energy Audit / Searching the Web (Use Ecosia and Plant a Tree)

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