Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Food choices

In the past year, a variety of food-related documentaries have been released - Food Inc, Fresh, Killer at Large, King Corn, and so on. Some, such as Fresh, focus more on potential solutions - organic food, local growers, Farmer's Markets, community gardens, CSA's, and of course everyone's favorite, Polyface Farms with Joel Salatin. Other movies focus on the health problems of the system or the effects on farmers. Many of these documentaries may not have come to your local Blockbuster or movie theater, but most are available at Netflix - some of them even available to watch instantly on your computer!

My husband and I finally watched Food, Inc. over the weekend. I was moved by this one, which provided a good overview of the effects of our "cheap" food system and had a special focus on the e.coli outbreaks that are part of the low-regulated, feedlot, poor animal health conditions, high-speed processing aspect of our food system, and which kill children around the country every year. I have actually taken a tour of a meat-processing plant (industry terminology for slaughterhouse) and the movie brought back some unpleasant memories of striding through ankle-deep blood.

I have been a pescetarian since 2001/2002 - eating no beef, pork or poultry, but still eating dairy, eggs and fish. The transition was easier than I thought, since I like pasta, potato dishes, stews, soups, salads, bean dishes, and curries, which can all be made without meat. Every time I watch one of these documentaries I am glad I made that choice! Trust me, my eating choices are nowhere near perfect (whatever that means!!), but I do avoid industrial meat.

After watching Food, Inc., we have decided to try to order a side of grass-fed beef, raised without grains, steroids, hormones, antibiotics or animal protein additives. Sources such as Jonny Bowden (nutritionist of 150 Healthiest Foods fame) and Mother Earth News have touted the health, safety and environmental benefits of grass-fed, pastured beef.

I have visited one of our local ranchers, Rose Ranch, and can avow that their cattle were, indeed, hanging around outside chewing their cud, looking bovinely happy. Rose Ranch offers packaged, freezer-ready portions at $6.95/lb, with a $100 deposit per side required. A side weighs in at about 140-160 pounds.

Although I don't intend to eat the meat, I feel that this is a way to support a local rancher by buying their local, humanely raised beef for my family members and friends who are going to be eating beef anyway. I'm not sure when we can get the beef because I am not sure when they are processing next, but if you are interested in ordering your own, you can contact Don or Vicki Rose at drose AT roseranchjones DOT com. There are also a few other grass-fed beef options available on the website.


miltonics said...

It's amazing how much better happy meat tastes. It's like the difference between growing your own tomatoes and buying them at the store.

AnyEdge said...

Check out "Collapse" too. But there is hope for the world that that film doesn't include. New batteries will make many kinds of alternative power more sustainable and portable.

Lisa Sharp said...

You are in Oklahoma right? If so e-mail me I have info on humane meat and dairy in Oklahoma.

Peak Oil Hausfrau said...

Hi Lisa - Yes, I'm in OK, but I can't find your email!

Term Papers said...

Well no idea what to do. Still confused about food or may be stressed.