Updated: Nov 14, 2022
Party + Progress! This is the kind of climate action that involves friends, food, and fun while also educating, and inspiring those in your immediate social circles to get involved.
Sounds cool, huh? Awesome!
Because we have limited time now, we need to Cºool down the planet and stop the worsening climate crisis so we're going to need more people (like millions) to get into activist mode.
Why not make it fun and delicious in the process? I say, yes!
The intention of a "Farm to Friends for Climate Action" food party is to bring people together in a small, personal, and gracious setting around something we all commonly like and need, FOOD, like a brunch or dinner party with the intention to inspire those close to us to start getting active in climate action from the local level up to the global level.
From the report Yale Climate Change and the American Diet, they discovered that 57% of Americans who identify as Alarmed about global warming and are the most supportive of pro-climate policies and actions, talk to family and friends about the environmental impact of different products and/or foods.
We need systemic change to stop the worsening of the climate crisis, and that's going to be a huge task.
Big change never happens from the top down. It always happens from the bottom up. And one of the easiest places to start making change happen is in our home and community starting with our friends, family, and neighbors.
The "Farm to Friends for Climate Action" food party is bringing the concept of "Farm to Fork" dinners on real farms into our homes and combining it with climate action while eating well and having fun in the process.
So in a nutshell, y'all are gonna eat and then talk about what you're going to do about helping to stop the worsening climate crisis.
The inspiration for this "Farm to Friends for Climate Action" party came from years ago when I used to host, "Farm to Fabulous" dinner parties featuring produce from local farmers markets, and cooking plant-based dishes. These dinner parties were so fun and many of my guests ended up going to the farmers market to make dishes of their own using the vegetables, herbs, or fruits they had tried at my dinner party.
Food is a powerful way to motivate and inspire people!
Here are the 3 basic parts of a "Farm to Friends for Climate Action" food party. Feel free to customize your party agenda to what you think will be most effective with your social circle.
1. Serve a plant-rich menu.
In Project Drawdown, one of the top 3 climate solutions is eating a plant-rich diet. Your party is an opportunity to enjoy a plant-rich meal with your friends. Eating plant-based is climate action. Do a brunch or dinner party, and make your menu either:
Vegan - 100% plant-based
Vegetarian - Plant-rich with cheese, dairy or eggs
Flexitarian - 80% of the menu is plant-based foods and the remaining 20% has cheese, dairy, eggs, and/or a minimal amount of meat from a low carbon footprint animal.
You can do all the cooking yourself or do a potluck and ask each person to bring a dish depending on which theme you go with. Your food party is also a great opportunity to try plant-based and vegan meats, cheeses, milks, sour cream, whipped cream, and ice cream.
For the "Farm" part of the food party, do your best to source the main ingredients of the dishes served from either a local farmers market, or a local garden (if you or anyone you know grows food, or your area has a community garden.)
If you want to find out what farmers markets are in your area, the USDA has a, "National Farmers Market Directory," where you can look up your town or city and the local farmers markets.
Do the best you can! Not everyone has access to farmers markets or gardens where food is grown, so also use a produce/grocery delivery service, or see what's available in the produce section of your local grocers.
The main point is to serve a plant-rich menu.
When you get ingredients from a farmers market or local garden, you are eating local foods financially supporting your local farmers and community. You are eating foods in season direct and fresh from the farm, and you get that farm feeling added into your food party.
When planning your menu, also take into consideration food waste which has significant impact on climate change. In fact, 1/3 of all food in the U.S. gets wasted. Did you know that the carbon footprint of food waste is greater than that of the airline industry?
Create a theme! A wonderful way to help make menu planning easier and to create a fun atmosphere catered to your friends, is having a theme like:
Taco party - Layout a spread of different taco fixings and let your guests create their own tacos. This is a great opportunity to try plant-based meats like beef and chickn.
Pizza party - Have a spread of toppings and let your guests make their own single serving pizza, or make several large pizzas to slice up and share. Have a big green salad to go with the pizzas. Good opportunity to try plant-based cheeses.
Dim sum party - Have a spread of small plates and bite-size portions of foods like gyoza, potstickers, egg rolls, dumplings, steamed buns, siu mai, and veggie dishes like Gai Lan with vegan oyster sauce, veggie lo mein, and veggie fried rice.
2. Climate Change Education
After everyone is done eating, the next part will be talking about climate change.
Most people are aware of climate change but many are not aware of actually how bad things are and what needs to be done to help stop the climate crisis from worsening. The mainstream media doesn't do enough coverage of what's happening, so your "Farm to Friends for Climate Action" food party is an opportunity to help educate others.
If you have a friend who is a climate activist or organizer, this is a great opportunity to ask them to do a presentation for your group, or to help you gather some information to share at your party.
Here are some videos you can show to your friends, and get the conversation going:
"Is Meat Really That Bad?" (12:07)
"This Is Code Red for the Planet" (12:13)
"Can YOU Fix Climate Change?" (15:49)
3. Create Action Plans
The 3rd part is to encourage your group to start creating action plans whether on an individual level, community level, or national and global level.
Talking about the climate crisis is important. Starting the process of making action plans to do something is where the progress happens.
You can also set-up a follow up "Farm to Friends for Climate Action" food party in 1-2 months to see what everyone has been doing as a way for some accountability and support for each other. Setting up a group Facebook page is also another helpful way to keep in touch with each other for action plans and activities.
To sum up
The climate crisis is worsening, and we no longer have the luxury of time to put change off anymore. In order to get the bold climate action necessary, we need the masses to rise up and not only demand climate action from our political and social leaders, we in our communities need to work together and take action in our hands.
The basis of a "Farm to Friends for Climate Action" food party is fun, easy, simple, affordable, and customizable. And most importantly, you are making action happen! Thank you.