Joint post by Carol Temerson of the UUCA Immigration Team and Tina Ughrin of the UUCA Food Justice Ministry
This is the third installment on a series of reflections on living our seven UU principles through our food justice ministry. The first installment was an essay reflecting on the seven principles as a whole. Periodically, we will highlight a principle and work we are doing connected with that principle.
First Principle – The inherent worth and dignity of every person.
Our current global industrial food system creates inequities both in food resources and in labor. This is particularly heinous in the exportation of unsafe and abusive farm and food processing labor practices both overseas and to disenfranchised group within our own society such as undocumented immigrants. This is compounded by disparities in the accessibility of nutritious food both within the United States and globally. Our first principles calls upon us as UUs to educate ourselves and others on the impact of our personal food choices and on solutions and skills necessary to change the system. It also calls on us to bear witness to injustice, provide service, and work for fundamental policy changes.
We have a timely opportunity right now to act on the farm bill ($100B program). Congress is very badly split on what to do with the farm bill which comes up for renewal every 5-7 years (the current bill is set to expire on 9/30/12).
If you would like to take action, please:
1) Learn about the current US Farm Bill from
2) Then send an email to your representatives in Congress about reconfiguring the upcoming Farm Bill through sites such as Bread for the World.
Sample Letter Language
I know that the Farm Bill is coming up for renewal. Please know that it is important to me that this NEW Farm Bill:
1. Provide nutritious, substantive food to those who need assistance.
2. Change which crops we subsidize from corn, cotton, soybeans, wheat, rice to fruits, nuts, and vegetables and cut subsidies to a more reasonable level by supporting #3 below.
3. Change who we subsidize from corporations (who are NOT people despite the Supreme Court’s ruling) to small and mid-sized family farms (those who make less than $250,000 per year).
4. Provide more conservation funding including better stewardship of the earth efforts.
5. Expand availability and affordability of locally produced organic foods and grass-fed animal products.