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Eating to Save the Planet is the theme of a Community Forum to be held in Newbury Park on Saturday, Jan. 12. The program will examine how individuals can make a significant impact in combating global warming by making a modest and painless change in their diet.
Amy Halpern-Laff, representing Green Monday US at the 7 p.m. forum at the Conejo Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, will describe how the foods we eat are a largely unrecognized culprit in contributing to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, production of meat creates more greenhouse gases worldwide than the entire transportation sector including cars, planes, trains and ships.
Green Monday, an international social enterprise group founded in 2012 in Hong Kong, educates the public on how each of us can reduce our carbon footprint and improve health by giving up meat for just one day a week. It’s not about converting people to become vegetarians, but rather to create more flexitarians, people who are semi-vegetarians to varying degrees.
Halpern-Laff will explain the how enlisting many people to switch one day a week to a plant-based diet will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease water consumption, make more land available for food production and improve health. Samples of plant-based foods will be offered after her presentation so people can taste the possibilities of joining the cause.
By choosing Mondays for action, the organization seeks to synchronize behavior so the impact multiplies. It also supports people choosing when and how to go green in their diet. Green Monday US provides resources to organize support at schools, college campuses, businesses, churches and in the community for going meatless on Mondays (or another day) every week.
Halpern-Laff, who holds a law degree from Stanford, practiced law and mediation in New York and Connecticut before switching to education and nonprofit leadership. She focuses on the movement for just and sustainable food systems. In addition to Green Monday US, she works with the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition and is co-executive director of the Ethics in Education Network.
The Community Forum at 3327 Old Conejo Road in Newbury Park is open to the public and free. Donations are welcome. For information, contact Randall Edwards through the church office at (805) 498-9548 or visit forum.cvuuf.org.