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‘Friday Food Fast Facts’

March 15, 2019

Second Friday of Lent

“The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all. At the global level, it is a complex system linked to many of the essential conditions for human life. A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climate system … Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it …”

— Pope Francis, Laudato Si, #23

For many Christians, Lent is an opportunity to pray, contemplate and reflect upon how our choices and actions impact our relationship with God, each other and with the whole Earth community. Lent is also a time when some choose to fast by abstaining from eating meat one or more days a week or simply becoming more intentional about their food choices.

In this spirit, the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Food Ecotone group invites you to make these “Friday Food Fast Facts” part of your Lenten reflection.

Studies show that meat production produces more greenhouse gases than vegetables, including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide – the three main contributing sources of greenhouse gas. Beef was found to produce a total of 30 kg of greenhouse gas (GHG) per kg of food, while carrots, potatoes, and rice produce .42, .45, and 1.3 kg GHG per kg of food, respectively.

Making a choice to eat foods that are lower on the food chain, such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and grains may well be the most effective way an individual can stop climate change.

Use this tool, which shows you how changing your eating habits can impact global climate change. It is a quiz you can take to test your knowledge of which foods are planet-friendlier.

“At the time of the UN Climate Conference in November, 2017, Pope Francis warned against falling into the trap of ‘four pervasive attitudes,’ in the pursuit of concrete environmental solutions: Denial of the problem, indifference, comfortable resignation, and blind trust in technical solutions.”

— National Catholic Reporter, December 1-14, 2017, page 11

You may wish to try a new recipe or two, found below:


Spinach and Orzo Salad

  • 1 package baby leaf spinach (10 ounces)
  • 3-4 stalks celery hearts, sliced
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 10-12 grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 3 cups cooked orzo (about 1 ½ cups uncooked)
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • ¾ cup garlic vinaigrette dressing, or any dressing of your choice

Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and rinse orzo. Transfer to large bowl, and then add all ingredients, except spinach. Toss orzo mix until well coated with dressing. Add spinach and toss well. Add salt, pepper, and more dressing if needed. Serves 6-8. Recipe from Aunt Mid’s Brands.


Easy Stir-Fry

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 16-ounce bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables
  • 2 cups hot cooked rice (white or brown)
  • Optional: cashews

In small bowl, mix together honey, vinegar, orange juice, soy sauce and cornstarch. Set aside. Pour oil into large skillet; heat to medium-high. Add vegetables and cook for five minutes, stirring frequently. Add sauce mixture to skillet and cook until thick and bubbly, stirring continuously. Serve over hot rice. Top with cashews, if desired. Serves 3-4. Recipe from Fix it and Forget it Vegetarian Cookbook.

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Sister Barbara Battista

Sister Barbara Battista is a native of Indianapolis who currently ministers as the Congregation's Justice Promoter. She credits her social justice activism to her mother Alice's strong example. Raised in a large and extended Italian family household, Sister Barbara comes by community organizing quite naturally. She is a passionate and energetic advocate for full equity and equality for women and girls in church and society.

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  1. Sheila Donis on March 20, 2019 at 8:00 am

    Sister Barbara walks the talk! Her commitment to justice is a constant reminder to us to act justly with a heart of compassion energized with a practice of contemplation! Thank you, Sister Barbara!

    • Barbara Battista SP on March 20, 2019 at 2:45 pm

      Thank you Sheila. We are in this together. With God’s grace and one another’s help we can move the human community toward a more truly just society.

  2. Wanda Barney on March 20, 2019 at 10:31 am

    Thank you Sistrt Barbara for the insightful article. I am going to try some of those delicious looking recepies.

    • Barbara Battista SP on March 20, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      Wanda, I am so glad you are going to try out the recipes. I think they’re yummy! let me know what you think.

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