Thursday, October 29, 2009

Recipe: Whole Wheat Apple Crisp

Apple crisp is a great fall treat. Here is a recipe I modified from a traditional apple crisp recipe to give this delicious dessert a little more nutritional content.



The filling:
10 cups of firm, tart apples, peeled and sliced (Good varieties for baking include Braeburn, Cortland, Empire, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Rome, and Winesap.)
1 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup water

The topping:
1 cup old-fashioned (rolled) oats
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp wheat germ
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup margarine, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In large bowl, combine sliced apples, white sugar, 1 Tbsp flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and water, stirring to evenly coat the apples.  Transfer to 9x13 inch pan.

Using the same bowl, combine dry ingredients for the topping, mixing to evenly distribute baking powder and soda. Add brown sugar and melted margarine and stir to combine. Crumble topping over the apple mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes.

Enjoy warm with vanilla ice cream!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thoughts on a Sugared Beverage Tax

Take a look at this commercial I saw the other day:

(If you can't see the video below, view it on YouTube here.)



I can’t tell you how much this commercial irks me!  It is so disingenuous.  First of all, the premise of the commercial is that if the government begins taxing beverages, American families won’t be able to afford to feed themselves.  But what are we talking about taxing?  Fruits, vegetables, whole grains?  No.  The proposed tax would be on “juice drinks and sodas” (notice, not fruit juice, but juice drinks, which usually contain high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavoring).  After getting steamed up watching this commercial, I decided to investigate further.

There is no particular piece of legislation pending, but lawmakers have floated the idea of taxing sugary beverages.  Estimates on how much money a tax of one to a few pennies per ounce could raise range from $51-150 billion dollars over the next ten years. These taxes have been proposed not only to raise money to support health care reform or other public goods, such as inner city farmers’ markets, but also to shift consumer habits in support of health.  Consumption of sugary beverages has been linked to obesity and Type II diabetes, diseases that are afflicting more and more of the population and driving up the costs of public health care.  In an article in the New England Journal of Medicine earlier this year, authors Kelly D. Brownell, Ph.D., and Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. state, “For each extra can or glass of sugared beverage consumed per day, the likelihood of a child’s becoming obese increases by 60%.”

It has been argued that a tax on sugary beverages would disproportionally burden the poor, who spend a greater percentage of their income on these products.  Some Democrats in Congress have even claimed that a sugar tax could encourage low-income families to cut spending on fruits and vegetables rather than on the taxed items.  While it is important to assess the social and economic impacts on all segments of society when considering new legislation, these claims do not reflect the whole picture.  Low-income families are also disproportionally afflicted with Type II diabetes and obesity-related diseases.  Why haven’t these same Representatives spoken out against industry subsidies that make sugar-loaded, processed food cheaper and easier to come by than healthy whole foods?  Additionally, there is good reason to believe that the proposed tax would reduce consumption of sugary drinks.  Studies by researchers and industry groups alike have found that an increase of 6.8-12% in the cost of soda resulted in a 7.8-14.6% decrease in consumption.  Low-income families stand to gain from a tax that would encourage reduced consumption, especially if the funds raised could be used to make healthy foods more readily available.

One final thought: The group sponsoring the commercial, Americans Against Food Taxes, calls itself a “concerned coalition of citizens,” but if you go to its website, you can view a list of “coalition members”; The supporters listed are mainly beverage companies like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, industry lobby groups like the American Beverage Association, and retailers like 7-Eleven and McDonald’s.  And we are supposed to believe they have our best interests at heart?


For more information, see: Brownell, KD and Frieden, TR.  “Ounces of Prevention--The Public Policy Case for Taxes on Sugared Beverages.”  N Engl J Med. 2009 Apr 30;360(18):1805-8.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Book Review: The Omnivore's Dilemma

Pollan, Michael, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (New York: The Penguin Press, 2006, 450 pp.)


Image courtesy of MichaelPollan.com

    “What should we have for dinner?,” the book begins.  No, this is not a diet book, filled with new taboos and panaceas.  Michael Pollan’s engrossing book Omnivore’s Dilemma tackles the question of what to eat in a more philosophical, but eminently practical, way.  The title of the book is taken from psychologist Paul Rozin’s work on food selection in humans and animals.  The “omnivore’s dilemma” is that, while omnivores can take advantage of many varied food sources, this also means that they must make choices about which things to eat, some of which could harm or kill them.  Enter the contemporary American omnivore.  With food fads revolutionizing the way Americans eat every few years, Pollan asks what we should be eating.  To answer this question, he decides that he first must learn what we are eating, which he does by tracing the food chains of a small number of meals from their original sources to the table. Why ask what we should be eating, or even what we are eating?  Pollan says, “How and what we eat determines to a great extent the use we make of the world- and what is to become of it.”

    The book provides a compelling “natural history” of four meals: the “industrial,” “industrial organic,” “beyond organic,” and “neo-Paleolithic.”  Pollan begins his inquiry with the largest and most prevalent food chain in America, the industrial, represented at mealtime by a McDonald’s lunch consumed in the car.  Working from the source, Pollan reveals how corn has permeated every corner of the standard contemporary food supply: It is processed into myriad forms of food product (like most of the McDonald’s meal), fed to meat and dairy animals on industrial feedlots, and burned as ethanol in fuel tanks.  After exposing many sordid details about the industrial food chain, Pollan asks if organic food provides a way around this petroleum-guzzling, environment-depleting, animal-torturing, obesity-inducing nightmare.  In researching and preparing an organic meal from ingredients purchased at Whole Foods, Pollan discovers that “organic” has been co-opted to a great extent by the industrial logic of modern society, producing the oxymoronic “industrial organic” business that suffers from many of the same problems as the industrial food chain.  He finds some hope, however, on Joel Salatin’s “beyond organic” farm, which raises animals in a symbiotic relationship based on their natural predilections, allowing the enterprise to function almost as a closed loop.  The underlying message of Polyface Farm is “think local,” and even as Pollan sings its praise he wonders how “beyond organic” could serve the needs of urban society.  Finally, Pollan makes “the perfect meal,” in a “neo-Paleolithic” endeavor of hunting, gathering, and growing everything on the table.  He calls the meal “perfect” because it is made in full consciousness of and with full responsibility for everything that went into producing it.  This final exercise allowed Pollan to grapple with many ethical questions of the way we eat, including the morality of killing animals.  While he recognizes that hunting/ gathering is not a viable way to feed ourselves in the contemporary world, he thinks the lessons of the experience can lead us to more ethically conscious food selection.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Food Deserts

Being back in St. Louis over the weekend served as a stark reminder of another very important dimension of seeking food justice: ensuring that people have access to nutritious, healthy food.  In the area where I used to live around Saint Louis University, as in many other parts of St. Louis and other cities, the options for buying groceries are limited.  Fast food chains and convenience stores outnumber supermarkets by a considerable margin.  I didn’t have a car when I went to SLU, and the only option for groceries within walking distance was a Schnucks grocery store.  That Schnucks stocked more varieties of liquor than vegetables, and the greens that they did have looked like the rejected produce in a Whole Foods dumpster.  If you were to get in a car and drive about 15 minutes west of SLU’s midtown location, you could have your pick of fresh produce and quality meats and dairy from Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or even the large mainstream chains like Target, Dierbergs, or Schnucks, which are better stocked in that area.


Photo by Spixey (Flickr CC)


2.3 million households in the U.S. live more than a mile away from a supermarket and lack access to transportation.  These “food deserts” are usually found in the inner city or in isolated rural areas.  In the city, limited food access is correlated with a high degree of income inequality and racial segregation.  Lack of transportation infrastructure also contributes to poor food access.  Living in a food desert compounds the effects of these injustices.  Several studies have demonstrated a link between obesity or high Body Mass Index and the relative prevalence of fast food restaurants and lack of grocery stores.

So what are possible solutions to the problem of food deserts?  Farmer’s markets and urban and community gardens can help fill the void as well as providing fresh, high-quality whole foods in areas replete with processed and packaged food products.  In areas that have grocery stores with inadequate offerings, community pressure must be brought to bear on the companies.  Supermarkets are reluctant to offer fresh, high-quality produce when they deem that the demand isn’t there.  This is a vicious cycle because the grocery stores’ limited offerings also shape consumer preferences, especially when children in these areas grow up without access to fresh, whole foods.  Community education that introduces the benefits of nutritious whole foods as well as educating people on how to prepare them can help create consumer-driven pressure on these stores to implement more just policies.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Movie Review: The Garden


Image courtesy of TheGardenMovie.com

I am a huge fan of community gardens, and I recently watched a great documentary about the struggle of one community to keep its 14-acre garden in South Central Los Angeles.  The garden grew up in the wake of the destructive 1992 LA riots, and became the largest urban farm in the US.  This 2008 independent film follows a two-and-a-half-year court battle between the growers, a wealthy land developer, and the LA City Council.  In addition to the fight against the land developer and city council, the growers encounter resistance from another community advocacy group, highlighting racial tensions in the neighborhood.

The film is a moving portrait of the urban farmers, mostly Latin American immigrants, who not only created an unbelievably lush oasis in the middle of an industrial corridor but also joined together to organize and advocate their right to keep it. The Garden is a poignant look at the promises of urban agriculture and the failures of imagination and support from our legislative and legal systems.

The Garden was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 2009 Academy Awards.  To find or host a screening, visit TheGardenMovie.com.  You can also rent the movie at your video store.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Quick Guide to Consumer Food Labels for Meat, Dairy, and Eggs

Several people have asked me how I decide what meat and eggs to buy when I chose to eat these things.  It can be extremely hard to sort out exactly what you’re getting when buying meat, dairy, and eggs, even when products are labeled with heartwarming terms like “cage-free” and “naturally raised.”  I think the best way to know what you’re getting is to go to local farmers’ markets (or better yet, farms!) and actually talk to the people raising the animals.  However, life gets busy and it’s usually much easier to run to the grocery store to grab something.  At the store, I personally try to look for meat that is “Certified Human Raised and Handled,” which you can find in some grocery stores like Whole Foods, and even occasionally in more mainstream stores.  (Find stores that carry the label here, or call your local grocery store and express interest.)  Other than that, I just try to find meat or eggs with the best available combination of labels.  You also often can find information about a particular company online.  For instance, I have been buying local, USDA organic, cage-free eggs from Organic Valley after reviewing the standards explained on their website (not exactly independent verification, but better than nothing).  Finding ethically produced meat, dairy, and eggs is anything but a straightforward process, but arming yourself with as much information can make it that much easier to find food with which you’re comfortable.




Here is a quick guide to frequently used terms:

Antibiotic-free: No USDA standard.  Animals raised without any administration of antibiotics.  Labeled by manufacturer; no independent verification.

Cage-free: No USDA standard.  Animals are raised without cages, but may still be confined in crowded conditions without access to the outdoors.

Certified Human Raised and Handled®: An independent label developed by the 501(c)3 nonprofit Humane Farm Animal Care.  The standards include, “nutritious diet without antibiotics, or hormones, animals raised with shelter, resting areas, sufficient space and the ability to engage in natural behaviors.”  All farms using the label are inspected yearly.

Free-range or free-roaming: Animals allowed to roam in pasture.  Labeled by manufacturer; no independent verification.

Fresh: USDA standards say “fresh” poultry can’t be cooled below 26 degrees Fahrenheit.  Although this is below freezing, the USDA standard for “frozen” poultry is 0 degrees Fahrenheit and below.  Regulated by the USDA.  No USDA standard for other meat or dairy.

Grass-fed: USDA standard for meat but not dairy cattle.  After weaning from milk, animals must consume only grass or forage.  During the growing season, they must have continual access to pasture; In the off-season they must be fed harvested grass or forage.  May still be given hormones or antibiotics.  If the product carries a “USDA Process Verified” shield, the USDA has physically inspected farms from which the meat originated.

Hormone-free: No synthetic hormones administered.  Federal law prohibits any administration of synthetic hormones to hogs and poultry but allows it for beef and dairy cattle. Labeled by manufacturer; no independent verification.

Irradiated/ Treated With Irradiation: Exposed to ionizing radiation, chemically altered from its natural state.  Whole irradiated foods are required to carry one of these labels and the “radura” symbol but processed foods and spices are not.  The USDA inspects plants for safety, but products are labeled by manufacturer; no independent verification.

Natural: USDA standards say that “natural” meat and poultry can’t contain artificial ingredients, including colors, flavors, or preservatives and should be processed minimally.  However, there are no requirements for how the animals were raised, what they ate, and whether they received antibiotics or hormones.  Labeled by manufacturer; no independent verification.

Naturally raised: USDA standards say the animals can’t be given antibiotics, growth promoters, or feed with animal by-products.  They may still be raised in factory farm conditions. Labeled by manufacturer; no independent verification.

Organic:  See USDA certified organic.

Pasture-raised or pastured: No USDA standard.  Animals raised on pasture, eating grass or native plants.  No indication of how much of its life an animal lived on pasture.

rBGH-free or rBST-free: Synthetic growth hormones not given to dairy cattle.  Due to pressure from Monsanto, products labeled “rBGH or rBST-free” now also must carry a disclaimer saying that the FDA has said there is no significant difference between this and milk produced with the hormone.  The FDA relied on Monsanto to study the health effects of its own genetically engineered growth hormone.

USDA certified organic: USDA standards disallow use of antibiotics, synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, genetic engineering, irradiation, or sewage sludge.  Animals feed 100% organic feed without growth hormones or animal byproducts.  Ruminant animals have continual access to the outdoors, but chickens may be confined.

Two great places to learn more about these and other consumer labels are GreenerChoices.org’s Eco-label Index and Food & Water Watch’s article “How Much Do Labels Really Tell You?”

If you have additional advice or thoughts to share, leave a comment!

Watch for a future post about selecting seafood!

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Food and Friends

Eating is a very social behavior.  Sitting down at the table with your family, going out to dinner with friends, munching snacks at an office or class party… It can be hard to strike a balance between your food ideals and social mores.  So how do you balance the desire to eat as ethically as possible with the possibility of offending others who might feel judged or insulted if you don’t eat what they’re eating or serving?

This is a question that I’m still trying to resolve in my own life, but I do have a few tips.  The first thing I learned was that it is best to be upfront about any dietary restrictions you are going to try to maintain around other people.  For example, when eating with people I don’t know that well, I tend to identify myself as a vegetarian.  This is an easily understandable term to most people and usually precludes a lengthy philosophical discussion.  Identifying this way lets me hold on to a core value in my food choices while allowing me to enjoy going out to eat.  (Most restaurants have some vegetarian options, especially if you can encourage the group to go for Asian or Middle Eastern cuisines.)

However, since “vegetarian” doesn’t really adequately represent my food philosophy, I try to be more open with family and friends with whom I feel comfortable.  People who know you well are less likely to hear your ideals as confrontational or judgmental.  I’ve found people to be genuinely interested and very accommodating when I explain my personal choices regarding food.  Parents, in-laws, and friends have cooked meals for me with meat or seafood that they’ve thoughtfully selected to be environment and animal-friendly.  My parents have told me that my exploration of the ethics of food has caused them to become more informed and aware of their food choices as well.

In the end, balancing food and friends is all about compromise.  Food is supposed to nourish and sustain life, and, to my way of thinking, you can’t make food about negation and deprivation, something that cuts you off from your social circles.  Find the solution that makes you most comfortable, and invite those close to you to learn about your personal choices.  You can have your cake and eat it, too.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Navigating the Vegetarian Kitchen

When I first declared myself a vegetarian (before transitioning to ethivore), I had to figure out how to change my cooking to exclude meat.  I had never been a huge meat eater anyway, but I found out, in trying not to eat any meat, that I really loved and relied on chicken in my kitchen.

My first solution to my quandary was to start buying soy and textured vegetable protein (TVP) meat analogs from the freezer section of our grocery store.  We ate “chik’n” nuggets, and soy burgers, or used crumbled versions of these products in traditional meat recipes.  I felt good about cutting out the meat.  But, as I started learning more about the environmental and health costs of our food choices, I began to question the wisdom of eating meat analogs rather than meat all the time.  For instance, MorningStar Chik’n nuggets have a list of 50 ingredients, including several additives that I can’t even pronounce let alone know what they are.  And just 4 nuggets contain 25% of the recommended daily value of sodium!  Boca Burgers have a slightly shorter, but no more decipherable, ingredient list.  When I thought about all the steps in the industrial agricultural food chain that it took to transform those soybeans from their natural state into something that looks and tastes (somewhat) like meat… I knew that I was defeating one of the purposes I had in becoming vegetarian.  I wanted to lessen my impact on the environment.  And I wanted to be healthy doing it!

When I decided that I needed to get away from relying on meat analogs, I found myself back at square one.  How do I put nutritionally balanced, tasty food on the table when I am so busy with grad school, work, and life?  Fortunately, I found some great cookbooks and nutritional advice along the way.  (I’ll be featuring some cookbooks in future posts, so check back for suggestions and recipes!)  I found that the most helpful cookbooks divided main dishes into categories like “pasta,” “beans/ peas/ lentils,” and “grains.”  This is great because it allows you to think outside the meat-potato-vegetable paradigm.  Plus, legumes and whole grains are great sources of vegetable protein.  I also found that in recipes where meat is not the main event but just another ingredient, it’s usually fairly easy to substitute beans, tofu, or mushrooms.



Here are some easy supper ideas:

  • Open-face vegetable sandwich made with vegetables cooked on the grill or under the broiler, heaped onto sliced whole-grain bread with melted cheese
  • Whole-wheat couscous with a quick stir-fry of some combination of vegetables, topped with cashews or other nuts or seeds (or, if you want to get a little fancy, serve in a half squash or a bell pepper)
  • Quinoa pilaf or salad- Quinoa is protein-rich and makes a good substitute for rice or other grains
  • Artichoke and spinach lasagna (or other casserole dishes) you can make ahead and freeze
  • Bean tacos or enchiladas
  • Rice and beans or lentils
I’ll be posting more tips and recipes in the future.  Leave feedback or suggestions, or share your own story or helpful hints in the comments box!

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Monday, October 19, 2009

BYOBag

Today kicks off Bring Your Own Bag Week in my community.  Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment, Arlington County Fresh AIRE, and Giant Foods are encouraging consumers to take a pledge to bring their own bags when they shop.


 My reusable bags


“Paper or plastic?”  is a great example of how the framing of a question can preclude possible solutions.  The best answer, of course, is “neither”!  Fortunately, it is becoming much more widely accepted that we need to end our love affair with plastic bags.  Plastic bags are made from non-renewable petrochemicals and take hundreds of years degrade.  They clog waterways and litter habitats, where animals ingest them and often die as a result.  In addition, once the bags do begin to break down, toxic bits of plastic contaminate our soil and water.

Within the past week, both Target and CVS have announced incentive plans to get consumers to think reusable, USA Today reports.  Target will offer 5 cents back for each reusable bag used, while CVS will give $1 back on customers’ CVS cards for every four purchases without a plastic bag.  It is good to see more mainstream retailers signing on to kick the plastic bag habit.

Our legislators are also getting in on the action.  This summer, Washington, DC’s Mayor Adrian Fenty signed into law a “bag tax” that will enter into effect in January 2010.  (See the press release.)  Grocery, convenience, drug, and liquor stores and restaurants will be required to charge a 5 cent tax on all plastic and paper bags.  With this legislation, DC has gotten a step ahead of most of the rest of the country.  However, this could be changing, too!  Right now, the Plastic Bag Reduction Act of 2009 (H.R. 2091) introduced last spring by (my Congressman!) Representative James Moran (D-VA) is in subcommittee in Congress.  Tell your Representative to support H.R. 2091!

All of these trends are encouraging, but I think that a tax rather than retailer refunds ultimately will be more successful in changing behavior.  As my husband put it, “people are more likely to care about being charged 5 cents than saving 5 cents.”  There is also something to creating a social standard.  I have to say that I am much more likely to remember my reusable bags on my way to Whole Foods than CVS, out of pure shame!

If you don’t have any bags lying around, check out Reusablebags.com to get a stylish bag you can roll up and carry with you in your purse or pocket!

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie

Fall makes me nostalgic for pumpkin patches, hayrides, and campfires with my family.  So I was really excited this year when some friends suggested going pumpkin and apple picking at nearby Homestead Farm!  We had a great time there and came home with beautiful apples, pumpkins, and winter squash.

pumpkin pie



When I was a kid, I never really
thought of pumpkin as a food.  Or at least, there was a disconnect between my Jack-o-Lantern carving experience and my love of Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.  This year, I decided to try taking my pumpkin all the way from the patch to the table with my own hands.   I found great recipes for fresh pumpkin pie, pumpkin pie spice, and pie crust on AllRecipes.com.  Not a vegan pie (does anyone have a good recipe for vegan pumpkin pie?), but I did use free-range, cage-free eggs, and vegetable margarine instead of butter.  The result was a hit with family and friends, and the process of making food out of something I picked from the field myself was a great experience!  There is something about creating food from a vegetable you plucked out of the dirt yourself that brings home the earthiness, the naturalness of eating.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

World Food Day

Today is World Food Day!  World Food Day is celebrated every year on October 16 to draw attention to the problem of hunger and encourage action.  This year’s theme is “achieving food security in times of crisis.”

In its recently released The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2009, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that “1.02 billion people are undernourished worldwide in 2009.”  Hunger is more widespread than at any time in nearly 40 years.

World hunger is not a product of insufficient production.  The world produces more than enough food to feed everyone (see Reducing Poverty and Hunger, FAO 1992).  Too often, the proposed solutions to hunger focus on increasing food production, so I was heartened to read the following statement in The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2009:

The fact that hunger was increasing even before the food
and economic crises suggests that present solutions are
insuf´Čücient and that a right-to-food approach has an
important role to play in eradicating food insecurity. To
lift themselves out of hunger, the food-insecure need control
over resources, access to opportunities, and improved
governance at the international, national and local levels.

By focusing on social rather than purely technical solutions, we can address the true roots of hunger.  It doesn’t matter that the world as a whole produces enough food for everyone if those who are hungry don’t have access to the resources or opportunities to grow or buy what they need to maintain active, healthy lives.

This world food day, reframe the issue of world hunger from a question of charity to one of justice!

World Food Day USA has a list of 2009 events in which you can participate on or around World Food Day.  Check the website to find lectures, food drives, festivals, and more.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

What-a-vore?


About a year and a half ago, I read Rethinking the Meat Guzzler in the New York Times and decided it was time for a change.  I, of course, had had a brush with vegetarianism in college, after reading Peter Singer in one of my philosophy classes and watching a video of cruel factory farm practices.  However, I never quite got to the point of acting on my discomfort.  But something was different this time, and my moment of dissonance prompted me to write the "Eating Animals" post reproduced below.  After writing this as a note on Facebook, many of my friends responded with encouragement and suggestions.

So, that was the beginning of my journey.  Since that time, I’ve been continually trying to define exactly what my commitment means.  Is eating eggs okay when the laying hens have just as bad or arguably worse lives than the chickens raised for meat?  What are the implications of eating tofu "chicken" nuggets and TVP "beef" crumbles every night?  As I’ve tried to answer these and so many more questions for myself, I’ve come to understand myself as what I’m calling an “ethivore” rather than a traditional vegetarian.

For me (at this point at least) this means:

  • I rarely eat any meat or seafood at all.
  • When I do, I assure that the animal in question was raised/ caught and slaughtered in a way that was humane and not overly harmful to the natural environment.
  • I don’t eat red meat at all.
  • I don’t generally eat eggs if I can avoid it, but I will still eat things baked by others that contain eggs (for reasons I will blog about later). When I buy eggs myself, I make sure they’re cage-free.  I’ve also been experimenting with vegan baking.
  • I also try to be mindful of other ethical considerations when I choose food: Was it grown or raised without pesticides, genetic modification, growth hormones, or excessive antibiotics?  Was it grown locally? With fair treatment of farm labor? Bought at a fair price? Packaged minimally and in reusable or recyclable materials? This is a lot to think about, and I’m still trying to improve my awareness and decision-making in these areas.
As I write this blog, I’ll be expanding on these ideas and the implications of everyday food choices, as well as sharing some of the ways that I try to make it easy and delicious to follow my heart.  If you have a similar story, resources to share, or particular question for me, please respond in the comments section!

Thanks,

Megan


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