In the wake of all this vegan hubub surrounding Oprah yesterday, it seems only fitting that I give my final thoughts on Eat Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.
Like I said before I thought this book would only be about how bad you are if you eat animals, but it actually goes much deeper than that. These are my bullet thoughts.
- I think the idea that I struggle with the most is that my recent choice to only eat non-industrial meat is not “good enough” for Foer. He points out that these animals still go through things like branding and castration. How can he claim Pollan is wrong? I love him. Pollan was actually able to defend his choice on eating meat on Oprah and I agree that if we do not support “good” farmers only the factory farms will survive.
- I thought that he got a little too descriptive about the actually killing of animals but he does allow the reader to come to their own conclusions for the most part.
- I was alarmed at the environmental impacts and the rate at which factory farms have taken over the US landscape. This is why my grandparents cannot understand why I choose to eat organic. They grew up with a food system that was not an assembly line.
- I did not know that fish are treated just as poorly as chickens and pigs.
- It saddens me that Americans would rather eat crap meat because they feel it is their right and meat must be with every meal than save themselves and our planet. Thank you advertising! Eating meat has become the social norm in this country and it is spreading to the rest of the world.
- It was interesting to hear him compare eating his dog to eating a cow right off the bat. Why are they different? Because we give them human characteristics? The verdict is still out on that one.
- I think it is important to understand that we cannot make the world give up food so we need to educate and support small “happy” meat farmers who respect their herds and do not skin them alive (yes this is talked about in the book).
- The famous quote in the book is, “If nothing matters, there’s nothing to save” – His grandmother was speaking of keeping Kosher or starving, but to me this address how I feel about factory meat. Eating factory meat hurts my soul NOW, but if I don’t CARE about meat by not eating it and forgetting meat all together, why would I care about changing the ways animals are produced, raised, treated or slaughtered?
One thing that bothered me about Oprah, that some might turn to after reading this book is faux meat products. I don’t eat much of this or tofu because of the soy levels, but it seriously bothered me that she showed these products as being the only things to eat instead of going to beans, legumes and whole grains. These fake meats are full of nasty preservatives and Pollan mentions this in his Food Rules. Why would you want a chicken flavored soy burger, smashed into a patty shape and chard with fake grill marks anyway?
Check out Heather’s blog for more insight on the Oprah issues!
What is your opinion on veganism? I love cheese too much.
Interesting bit about what I read last night. Pollan goes into describing a few of the different types of diets that have become fads in the US. The first being the Mediterranean Diet, ” This diet is believed to be one of the most healthful traditional diets, yet much of what we know about it is based on studies of people living in the 1950s in Crete – people who in many respects led lives different from own.” He goes into how much more physical labor they preformed compared to the average 21st century American and how their religious beliefs held true to many fasts throughout the year. He then goes into the all vegetarian diet and how the study was done on Seventh-Day Adventists who also do not drink or smoke, which curb anyone’s nutrition. It is almost as if we are trying to fix a circle with a square. The last example he gives is of people that take supplements are healthier then those who don’t. This is more due to the socio-economic status of those that don’t take supps rather then actually taking of a vitamin (I actually new this one before!). So there you have it folks! My diet bit for the morning! I think I will do this more often as I read through the book….note of this section: don’t fall into fads too quickly!
ON TO THE FOOD!
I needed a break from oats and still had those eggs from the farmers market so I ended up making an open face egg sami with goat cheese, avocado and hot sauce on the butt of my Arnold flax and fiber bread. A few strawberries and a huge blackberry also made the plate! It a nice change up!
Tomorrow is Friday and Maine!!!!!
The American Resource Recovery Act (ARRA) or Stimulus, as it has become known as, is here to stay in the office. Creating waves of chaos within. We will all get through it! Anywho, that made my day mighty busy but I did have time for an enjoyable lunch! Continuing with the theme of cleaning out the fridge I made an avocado, tofu chip and hot sauce sami on Arnold flax and fiber bread. I also used my last Wallaby yogi, vanilla flavored and added a chopped up slice of zuc bread and a dash of cinnamon (It was outstanding, almost like a bread pudding! I am having it again tomorrow ) I also had half of my fruit salad.
Lunch was pretty large so I didn’t get around to eating the rest of my fruit salad and homemade nola bar until about 4pm. I could have just eaten the fruit, but the bar was right there in front of me so I ate-r. A note on my lunch…I used all tupperwear today!!! Besides the Wallaby yogi cup from this morning my lunch created NO trash what so ever! Ever tried doing that? It almost tastes more homemade that way.
Finally at the gym…traffic in the tunnel…I did the usual 20min warm up, today on the ArcTrainer (I am not sure if it is just because my feet are supported on all other machines then the treadmill, but I always feel like it is harder for me to run then ET, bike or ArcT. I also went to my 2nd fav spin class where I found out the teacher will be leaving but he assured us that his replacement would be compatible (Lets hope so!).
Home. Shower. Starved. Dinner. Italian tortellini with veggies was on the menu. With 1 serving fresh tjs tortellini, green beans, mix peppers, spinach, mushrooms, onions and garlic. Dressed with lemon, EVOO and parsley from the garden!
Always a good staple meal…I also snuck in 6 flax crackers with almond, honey, ginger goat cheese. To drink? Half unsweetened iced tea and half lemon seltzer, almost an Arnold Palmer, but not.
After dinner I settled into an episode of Good Eats. It was about strawberries! They are out and about at the farmers market and make their way into my fruit salad so I thought I would give it a view. I found out that strawberries are STRAW-berries because farmers place straw underneath the vines to make sure they do not lye in the dirt and rot. Pretty interesting! I am going to look into pick your own strawberries for this season.
Off to read more about how fats are actually good for us (at least the natural ones) and how the whole carb craze is a hoax! (please see In Defense of Food for reference).
This mooring’s breakie was an experiment that went G-R-E-A-T! I wanted some zucchini bread but not a whole slice and I needed more then that! I then proceeded to figure out how to put it a-top oatmeal. Here is how it came out: 1/4 cup mutigrain country oats, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup h20, 1/4 cup Uncle Sam, 1/2 naner mashed into hot oats, 1/2 a piece of zuc bread crumbled on top and 1/2 a tbs almond butter. It was mighty tasty!
Not too much planned for today…the usual work, gym, dinner sleep….is there any good TV on Tuesday nights now that The Biggest Loser is over. I DO NOT like American Idol so maybe tonight will be a reading night:)
Yes, no sub at Spin! Monday is my favorite class, 45min of serious non-stop workout (this tearch does not believe in recovery time)! I also got in some BOSU abs and a little arms before class.
Dinner was a bit up in the air until I noticed I had a ripe avocado, and Nick was coming! Then the gears were a turning. I knew I wanted to use the chicken in the fridge and jalapeno…Mexican! fajita? No. Tacos? No. Tostadas or Mexican Pizza? YES!!! I cut up some Yukon gold potatoes that have been laying around zucchini, mushrooms and onions and put them in a foil pack in the grill. Next I took two chicken breasts and EVOO with fajita seasoning to the grill. While they were cooking a made up an avocado, plain yogurt, cumin, cilantro (from the garden!!!), and jalapeno. I also threw two WW tortillas into the oven to get them crispy. Once toasted I pulled them out and slathered them in the avacado blend. I spit the grilled veggies and chicken between the two and ta-da! Like a little Mexican pizza!
Nick brought over Sam’s Summer Ales (first of the season) and I sipped on one through dinner. We also had simple side salads. Well off to bed early!! Stupid sideways pic again… Night all!!!!!
In my long list of blogging topics I forgot to mention that I saw Jeff from Ace of Cakes on my run yesterday! He was with his puppy, and I had to do a double take. It must be so strange for a shy guy like that to be recognized every day.
Lunch was pretty typical: salad greens from the market, white beans, black beans, tomatoes, wheat berries and 1 oz of turkey. I dressed this up with homemade balsamic dressing: (the ratio for EVOO to vinegar is 3/1)
- Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- white balsamic
- apple cider vinegar
I also had the usually side of fruit salad, which was finished with a homemade nola bar and seltzer at snack time! Oh can’t forget TJ’s coffee house yogi (my favorite on fruit!). Now heading to G-Y-M!
Not so much shine this AM, but it is supposed to clear up later in the day. Rumor around the gym is that there will be the dreaded sub at spin tonight so maybe I will run outside again. Other then that typical Monday fare is to come! To kick off the week I went with warm oats:
- 1/4 cup oats
- 1/2cup h2o
- 1/4 cup rainforest nola
- 1/2 banana
- 2 strawberries cut up
- 1 tbs flax
- 1 tbs almond butter
- sprinkle of wheat berries
Short but sweet. Off to see what today will bring me! Happy Monday!
Today was my first visit to the farmers market in downtown B-more. Before I left I had a quick breakfast of; zucchini bread toasted with tupelo honey, vanilla yogi with granola, wheat berries and banana. Oh and a cup of TJs breakie blend.
I dragged Nick along on my market adventure, and he ended up being a good sport about it . Once there I wanted to take a tour around before buying anything. I was really curious to I see if anyone had homemade nut butters, considering how popular they have become. Unfortunately I only found honey, jams and salsa in jars. There were about equal parts farmers to food purveyors, which was interesting to me because the farmers markets I have been to is all about the uncooked (besides baked goods). The assortment of goods was mainly greens, strawberries, and some last root veggies. I ended up getting some free range (and I asked if they really were) chicken eggs, baby leaf lettuce and a goat cheese spread with ginger and honey in it. Nick got a Thai Tea, which we waited way too long for and he said was super sweet. Next time I would like to try some of the meat from the local farms they had mainly pork and chickens and I am sure beef will be coming in the later months. I learned last night that beef is a fall time meat. TreeBaltimore was giving away free trees to anyone who lived in the city, which I thought was neat-o! The vendor pic below is NUTS! All of the bins are filled with different assortments of nuts and mixes sold by the red and white cones.
After the market I came home and transplanted my giant growing herbs and peppers into their own pots (Boy were those roots suck together!). I just hope they survive the transplant! I then bit the bullet and tried to make homemade larabar-ish things. They went a little something like this: 6 dates, 8 figs, 1/4 cup mixed almonds, pistachios, cashews and macadamia nuts, 1tbs honey and a dash of cinnamon (that is all that would fit into my small food processor).
They are currently in large bar form in the freezer chillin. I figured them out to have about 190 cal each. Will let you know how they go!
Taking a break I wipped up some scrabbled eggs with dill, tomatoes and sharp cheddar. Side item a pear and another slice of zuc bread!
My next attempt was Tofu Chips. Well this was adventure. I made cinnomon, old bay, chili powder, garlic powder and no salt added italian seasoning.Lets just say that I still have some kinks to work out and watch out for air pockets! I had a few fly off the tray and burn at the bottom on the stove, yep fire alarm wet off…After the excitement I went for a 4.5 mile run followed by 10min yoga for core and 20 min calm yoga. After a shower I was starving! I knew I wanted to use the lettuce from the market and eat some of my salvaged tofu chips. I went with: the lights and most tender baby greens ever!, white beans, black beans, half a sweet potato, 1/4 cup white corn, cherry tomatoes and zuc. To dress it I made a plain yogurt with hot sauce, cumin, red chili pepper flakes, garlic powder and oregano. Side item: garlic powder and chili powder tofu chips! (I could not turn the pic grrr…you get the point though!)
“Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.” – Micheal Pollan
Last night was awesome!!!! I got there a little before 5pm when the library closes and they kicked us out until 5:30pm when the event was starting. It was a nice night so I perched myself a top some sort of city meter thing and kept reading my book. Eating was no allowed inside the library so even though I wasn’t really hungry I thought I should eat my turkey sami that I had brought for dinner. This is what the line looked like at 5:15pm (Keep in mind the actual speaking was not happening until 7pm!)
There was also a really pretty basilica across the way!
Once we got inside, I scored a front row seat (well front row behind the reserved seating)! The place filled quickly and around 6:30pm I started getting hungry/bored. I had packed other items to eat, but had to be sneaky about eating them from inside my purse. I consumed an apple, zuc and cherry tomatoes before Micheal was introduced by the Chief of Nutrition for the Baltimore Public Schools (hard J-O-B!)
The Chief (I can’t remember his name and I feel so bad!) started off with some props; an apple, apple juice box, and a sliver slim canned apple flavored juice (looked like a red bull). He said, “This is the progression of an apple in our school system”. It is strange but I remember getting apple juice boxes in my lunch AND apples. I guess my generation is sort of a cross bread. He went on to talk about the many improvements he is making to the city school lunches. He really impressed me with the following: he has started a 33 acre farm for children to visit and plant, grow, and eat their own food, he has created a meatless Monday for next years food calender, which not only cuts back on cost BUT fossil fuels! He then introduced Micheal who spoke about his books followed by a one on one Q&A then audience questions. These are some key points I found from the lot:
- “Free Range” is more like saying vacation option for chickens
- “Pasture Finished” is what you are really looking for on a label
- Local Local Local farming needs to become a mainstream practice
- Vote on the Farm Bill!
- Stewardship and movement towards change is needed to make an impact
- Vegetarians and Meat Eaters are always in battle, but why?
- Never eat Feed Lot Meat – “Sh*t gets in the meat”
- People need to learn how to cook again and have a willingness to do so
- They used to have to dye margarine pink because it was a imitation butter and they didn’t want people getting confused – from “In Defense of Food”
Micheal on the Right Chief to the left
All in all a great speech + Q&A. I would have liked him to talk more about the Omnivore’s Dilemma (it is more about the environmental impact of the food industry) but HE SIGNED MY BOOK!!! After signage I quickly grabbed a cab and headed to federal hill to catch the tail end of a Preakness party (YAY RACHEL ALEXANDER!! showing the boys up!) There I found Nick and some firefly sweet tea vodka…FYI only drink one, so much sugar masking the vodka, but it was delicious! I nibbled on some pretzels and a piece if zuc bread that I brought for dessert. On the way home we got soaked! TG I had my umbrella in my giant bag!
Up early today! (well 8AM, which is early for my typical Sat.) I had tons of errands to run before Pollan and Nick had flag football out in the county so I made us an early breakie or oatmeal pancakes. Used a combination of the recipes floating around but mainly stuck to KERF on this one:
- 1/3 cup country multigrain oats
- 1/3 cup egg whites
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 tsp flax seed
I combined these ingredients over night so they would be ready to go in the AM. They seemed a little dry so I added a splash of water and they were ready to go! Here are the finished products: Nick’s had a mashed banana maple pecan topping and mine had a pumpkin and almond butter blend. We both had mango on the side. YUM!!!!
I also cut up some homemade granola bars that I had made late last night. Again the recipe came from the insight of many bloggers and went a little something like this:
- 1.5 cups of oats
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped fruit – I used orange scented cranberries and apricots this time
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1.25 cup vanilla almond breeze
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- dash of nutmeg
Cooked them for 35min and ta-da!
And the baking contined after I returned from TJs, safewayand home depot after I made a little lunch. Blueberry smoothie with low fat vanilla yogi, skim milk, and almond butter. I also had the remaining 3 pieces of tofu “chips” – still good! I would have had more to eat, but there was zuchinni bread on the way!
Zuchinni Bread (From Lighter Portions- with a LilyBean twist):
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup cooked quino (1/4 cup dry)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
- 3/4 cup veggie oil converted into flax equivalent 2 cups
- 1/4 unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/3 cup vanilla almond breeze
- 1 cup shredded zuchinni
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- dash of nutmeg
Looks good out of oven! I had to try a slice given that this was my first loaf! Hmmm def not a sweet as I was expecting it to be given all the other breads I have eaten…the recipe did call for chocolate chips, and maybe next time I will through a few in (or maybe some nutella!). It still tastes good without all the sugars we have come to know from banana and pumpkin breads. This way I can enjoy it as a healthy snack or slap some nutella or nut butter on it for a savory/sweet one. All in all I think it came out A-OKAY. I wanted to try and make date/fig bars but it is getting to close to Pollan time and I need to get ready!!!!! Sooooo excited!