Thursday, September 30, 2010

The 30 day challenge

Let me explain the “eat less meat” part of this.
First off realize this is a depression era poster however………. Relevant still, just in a different way. I think it’s up for interpretation without losing the overall message. Now remember it doesn’t say eat none just less and that I take as talking about our gratuitous consumption of these items as an overall nation, but I would definitely add corn to this list as well.

So here is my long winded roll on this: Right now groceries stores, fast food establishments and restaurants are jam packed with meat from CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations), CAFO’s have allowed the American population to eat as much “inexpensive” meat as we wish. Every meal if we like. However this comes at a price to our environment, animal welfare and our health as an overall population. Not to mention the subject of corn production that is needed to feed these animals and the Pandora’s Box that opens up to, as well as pushing small local producer literally out of business (this is especially true with the family dairy). Meat is part of our culture as Americans but the way our culture raises meat for the masses is relatively new.

If you imagine yourself in a sustainable life you don’t support industrialize meat production, therefore if you eat meat you buy it from a local source that you believe fits with your values. But, all of the local sources put together could never equate to the mass meat production and cost /price of a CAFO. Naturally we would all eat less meat, we would also naturally pay a higher price but CAFOs would be obsolete. Imagine that!

It’s a well accepted fact that the health of Americans changed dramatically following industrialized food practices. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, all rose dramatically following the 1950, Of course what makes it worse is our life style has changed too. Now most of have to work really hard and go to extreme measures to stay fit.
So go back to before industry and scientists began raising your food and imagine what things would look like. How much more value would that steak or roast have if you raised it yourself or a friend or a local farmer? Would any of it at anytime get thrown in the garbage, or wasted? What would a fast food meal look like? What would we look like? What if we ate according to our energy demands/needs? I’ll tell ya what, I’m a little thing but I easily put away 4500 calories or more in a day, A high percentage of that is protein, eggs mostly, milk, cheese and meat, the rest vegetables, then rice, grains, beans and bread. Each person has different energy requirements. I’m not qualified to pass any judgment or make any suggestions regarding that subject but it just makes sense to me.

Right now I’m talking about meat; however this could be applied to nearly everything on our grocery store shelves. I’m talking about eating more mindfully, going back to a community of food production. A farmers market, garden, co-op, not a manufacturing plant.
This challenge is just that it’s a challenge and for some it’s going to be stepping out of their comfort zone, but it will be up to each individual’s judgment and personal journey. It’s not my intention to be preachy or judgmental. I am not and don’t ever plan on being perfect. But I believe there is a misconception that eating this way is impossible, and me staying in business for the long haul depends on busting this misconception.
So here are some suggestions that might help you get started.
1) plan a weekly menu for all of your meals based on things you know you have or can get locally, even plan your snacks. It’s a hassle to begin with but soon will become a no brainer. (I do this on Thursdays, and have a list at the farmer market)
2) Make a shopping list, farmers market, co-op order, csa pick up etc, grocery store etc. Buy nothing outside of your list. Nothing. If you can’t cook every night, make extra and eat the left-overs, but at least cook 5 nights a week. Share meals with friends whenever possible.
3) Share sources with like minded people. You’ll need the support and the laughs.
4) make this challenge fun, don't take yourself too seriously.


Sue said...

I accept your challenge, Lisa Becklund! You have inspired me and given me ideas to jump start my tired starving butt into a healthier, happier person. Thank you! Sue

Lindy said...

Friday, October 1 is World Vegetarian Day. A good time to begin this challenge.

The Errant Cook said...

I'd like to share in your challenge. I have a Tulsa-based food blog called "The Errant Cook." I cook mostly scratch for my small family almost every night, and my husband and I have decided recently to go locavore however we can. I'm checking into a co-op this afternoon!

Jan said...

Well, we stocked up at the farmer's market on Saturday. Tonight we're having pork chops from Pork 'n' Greens, squash, corn bread, and salad. All local.

For lunch, since I'm at home today and not at the office, I will eat what I often do at lunch--cheese from Living Kitchens. :D I have crackers from the store in the pantry, so will use those up until they are gone. Then I can make some. We also have some leftover lentil soup that I made last week that we will be finishing up on, too.

We often eat out at lunch, and realistically will probably NOT change that that totally, but we will eat at local restaurants, preferably those that source their food locally. We already do this, but will be even more careful to do so this month.