One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. -Luciano Pavarotti
I’m not going to lie to you; I think Pavarotti’s totally got it right. It’s not only a necessity for living, it’s one of the greatest pleasures that we get to indulge in, and we get to do it every single day.
But I’m not 18 anymore, and I not only care about the taste of the food I eat, but also its nutritional value and where it comes from. I’m not an expert on this by any means (although Sharon is), but I’ve started to become more aware of where the food that I eat comes from, and I thought I’d share a little bit of what I’m doing about it with you.
beef and cow products that come from here:
and pork and other pig products that come from here.
Well, I have a problem with this. I have a problem with the cleanliness standards and the unsustainable environmental impacts that this type of farming has.
(There are plenty of people who have a problem with the ethics of treating animals like this, too, although I’m not one of them.)
So, I started to ask what the things were that I had the biggest problems with, and what I was going to do about it. I’ve started with where my animal products (meats, eggs, dairy, etc.) come from, and decided to make better choices.
A few months ago, I contacted a farm that was local to me, and bought 3/4 of a cow from them, had it butchered, and keep it in a freezer. For about $900, I got a little under 250 lbs. of beef, which includes about 80 lbs. of ground beef, all varieties of steaks from Ribeyes, N.Y. Strips and Tenderloins to Round Steaks and Sirloins, Chuck Roasts and Pot Roasts, as well as soup bones, hanger steak, oxtail, and other parts.
It isn’t any more expensive than buying meat at the discount supermarket, but instead of my ground beef containing tens of thousands of cows, it comes from Victor. (Yes, I named him.) And, I also get the best quality cuts of meat along with the regular stuff.
For all the other animal products? I’ve switched to buying eggs exclusively from free-range hens. I no longer buy chicken or turkey from Tyson, Perdue, Foster Farms, etc.; I seek out animals that come from local, independent farmers. This means going to a better supermarket than a Safeway or Albertson’s, but there are plenty of options.
The crazy thing in all of this? It’s barely more expensive and only a slight inconvenience compared to doing the lazy, ultimately destructive thing overall. The payoff? I get to live consistently with my principles, I get to put the quality of food into my body that’s up to my standards, and — at the end of the day — it isn’t even that hard or expensive.
So, now that I’ve started making these changes in my life, I’m curious. What small, easy changes have any of you made in your diets or shopping habits that you’re proud of? There are almost seven billion of us on this planet, so every little thing that each one of us does counts…