Montgomery Church’s Eco Group find a creative way to think about food miles at their monthly ‘bring and share’ lunch

St Nicholas Church in Montgomery, Wales, who achieved their bronze award in 2022, thought of a creative way to share their Eco Church ethos at their ‘bring and share’ lunch.

Montgomery Church hosts a casual ‘bring and share’ lunch on the fourth Sunday of each month. It’s open to everyone and is normally well-attended. The Eco Church group saw this captive audience as a great opportunity to widen the message about eco issues.
They decided to challenge the congregation to think about ‘food miles’, encouraging them to make low food-mile items to share. ‘Food miles’ refers to how far the ingredients of a meal have travelled to get to your plate. So it’s about making the best of what’s around locally whenever possible, rather than using items flown from across the globe.

One of the young members created a beautiful poster, and the competition to bring along the dish with the lowest food miles was on!

There were savoury recipes using homegrown herbs, local eggs and local vegetables.

The puddings didn’t fair quite as well as the sugar, made with British sugar beet, all grown close to the factory, came all the way from Bury St. Edmunds. But, the only other option was sugar from cane – which comes from much further afield!

The winning savoury frittata had a very modest count of just 1 mile, and the joint sweet winners (rhubarb meringue with cream and an apple crumble) had about 207 and 245 miles, respectively. We did have to make some assumptions about miles. 

The second-prize pavlova was made with local eggs and homegrown rhubarb.
The cream and sugar were British but travelled across the country.

The table was full of delicious food. The winning frittata was made with local (1mile) eggs and homegrown herbs.

Whilst it’s pretty easy to find locally sourced items at our weekly market, and British items can be distinguished by the Red Tractor label on produce, it can be harder to find out where they actually came from within the UK. However, we all agreed this was a good start!

The winners went away with some yummy and very local Trefaldwyn Blue cheese and beer from Monty’s Brewery.

The Eco Church group are considering their next challenge, but in the meantime, encourage everyone to think about how far their food has travelled to get to them!

The Eco Church survey encourages us to source foods that follow the LOAF principles – Local, Organic, Animal-friendly, and Fairtrade. Read more about the LOAF principles in our Eco Church resources here, and be inspired by Montgomery Church’s challenge to their congregation – could your church do something similar at an upcoming lunch or church gathering that involves food?