Food Ethics Statement

Food ethics is the understanding of the moral consequences of our consumer choices about food. Our approach to food can have positive or negative influences on our world. Industrial commercial agriculture has many negative consequences, including:

  • damage to the environment – from erosion, pesticides, fertilizers, and greenhouse gases
  • exploitive practices affecting workers
  • food shortages and food waste
  • inhumane treatment of animals in massive confined feeding operations
  • decreased nutritional quality

The Earthwise Committee believes these consequences are significant and should influence where and how the food we consume both personally and at church-sponsored events is raised and purchased.

Food sold locally at farmers markets, co-ops, or through CSA (consumer-supported agriculture) is generally grown on small family farms nearby. These farms tend to raise a diversity of produce and livestock. The farmers are generally concerned about the health and viability of their crops, animals, and land. By selling locally, these farms reduce the environmental costs of transporting their foods long distances. Science shows that this food is actually more nutritious.

In contrast, foods grown on industrial farms are often part of a monoculture – a single type of crop or livestock – which negatively impacts the local ecosystem of animals, pollinating insects, and birds. Often, large industrial farms ship their food hundreds or thousands of miles for processing and sale, resulting in a significant environmental impact.

St. Paul's UCC is an Earthwise Congregation that strives to use natural resources like water, paper, and energy wisely. We encourage our members to experience conservation at church and then do the same at home. The Earthwise team believes that we have a responsibility to use food wisely as well at events like Fair Trade Coffee Hour, Journey of Faith, Soup & Substance, and the Artisan Festival.  

We all have been consuming industrially-produced food for years. It's time to examine what it costs, beyond what we pay at the cash register – the impacts on the environment, animals, food quality, farm workers, the local community and our health. Industrial agriculture involves growing one crop on a large area of land where formerly there was a diversity of plants and animals, or raising huge numbers of animals in confined spaces. Industrial agriculture has many adverse effects, including:

  • Significant contributions to climate change from animal waste, production and use of petroleum-based fertilizers, energy to produce and transport food, and forest clearing
  • Animal waste, which causes odor and water pollution
  • Crops and livestock more susceptible to disease or pests
  • Depletion of soil nutrients and loss of topsoil from harsh farming methods
  • Excessive application of fertilizers and pesticides. Runoff of these chemicals contaminates rivers and lakes, harming bees, butterflies, and other local wildlife
  • Requiring farmers to follow procedures dictated by corporations for industry benefit, instead of using their own farming expertise
  • Livestock raised in crowded facilities, often dosed with antibiotics, lessening the effectiveness of antibiotics at curing diseases
  • Studies show that foods raised with industrial farming methods are less nutritious than those from traditional farms

We can all make positive changes by supporting smaller farms that follow healthier practices. We can purchase food from local farms at co-ops and farmers markets, or by participating in a CSA (consumer supported agriculture). We can grow our own produce so we know exactly how our food is grown. Buying organically grown produce and free-range or grass-fed meat, eggs, and dairy products (locally grown or otherwise) also helps avoid many of the problems with industrial food.

Let's all make wiser, better-informed choices in regard to food, energy, water, trees, and other resources. We can and must make a difference.

The Earthwise Committee


To help inform healthy food choices, the Environmental Working Group has developed lists of the worst and best foods in terms of pesticide residue. We recommend that you consider these lists when purchasing your food.

The Dirty Dozen                   

These foods tend to have the most pesticide residue when grown conventionally. Try to buy organic whenever possible.

Strawberries        Spinach              

Nectarines        Apples               

Grapes        Peaches           

Cherries        Pears               

Tomatoes        Celery               

Potatoes        Bell & hot peppers                           

The Clean 15

These foods tend to have relatively little pesticide residue, even when grown conventionally. If you cannot buy all organic, these are the safest non-organic choices.

Broccoli        Sweet corn     

Pineapples        Cabbages

Onions            Frozen sweet peas

Papayas        Asparagus

Mangos        Eggplants

Honeydew melons    Kiwis

Cantaloupes        Cauliflower


Worship Times

Sunday Morning

To help prevent the spread
of the coronavirus,
we're worshiping online
for the time being.

We look forward
to returning to
our normal schedule,
and we're saving
a place for you!

10:30 am
Nursery and toddler care provided
Sunday School for children
11:30 Fair Trade Coffee Hour

Evensong Service 
with Folk Ensemble

Also suspended
for the time being. 
We look forward
to starting up again.

3rd Sundays @ 5:15 pm,
September through May.
Light refreshments follow.

Where to find us

900 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55105

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a donation through
a secure web page.
Thank you!

Office Calendar

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St. Paul's UCC | Journeying together toward deeper faith, justice, and love for all   

900 Summit Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105  |  651-224-5809  |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  |  Our Facebook Page

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