*I am going to start adding sort of words for thought about food related articles I have read and found interesting. I hope you enjoy*
The article at hand comes from The Huffington Post focusing on meat and how it can be compared to the tobacco health crisis of the 90s. Meat has recently been in the news for being a cause of the current health issues facing Americans today. Heart disease, obesity, and cancer have all been linked to our elevated meat consumption in America. Kathy Freston is suggesting/hoping that someday we will look at meat the same way we look at cigarettes, addictive killers.
My personal opinion on the topic stays the same as it has for general meat consumption, we eat way too much as a society and too much of anything is not good. I treat meat as an occasional treat (about once a week). Given the amount of time and energy put into making my pork chop or steak versus my lentils, I feel that it is balanced. I also eat meat that lived a good life before slaughter and was treated humanely. If you have been reading my blog you know all of this.
My problem with this article is that it reduces the farmer that is trying to raise his herd the right way to the level of the McDonald’s beef supplier. Not all meat is created equal. Yes, we eat too much of it, but why does it have to be all or nothing? Vegan or Carnivore?
As a society we aren’t going to stop eating meat. Instead of pushing a, “become a vegan or you will die” philosophy, I believe we should focus more on the local/sustainable/humane food system. Is your mango, grown in South America, on a plantation that works children 12 hours really all that better than my beef burger? I know humanity didn’t really come into the article, but I think it is all connected. Eat meat that has been treated well = support fair wages for farmers = healthier, happier, animals = healthier, happier, humans.
What did you think of the article? Does it make you re-think your meat consumption? Would you go vegan?
PSA of the day!
While reading through Marion Nestle’s most recent blog posts I came across this quote:
“Never have so few corporations been responsible for more of our food chain. Of the 40,000 food items in a typical US grocery store, more than half are now brought to us by just 10 corporations. Today, three companies process more than 70 percent of all U.S. beef, Tyson, Cargill and JBS. More than ninety percent of soybean seeds and 80 percent of corn seeds used in the United States are sold by just one company: Monsanto. Four companies are responsible for up to 90 percent of the global trade in grain. And one in four food dollars is spent at Walmart.”
Just think about that statement for a second. This is scary a matter if you are economist, environmentalist, or nutritionist. With control comes power and we inch towards a food system monopoly every single day. By focusing on the short-term profit we lose sight of the long-term health of our species and the planet. Vote with you fork and choose local, sustainable, and humane products whenever possible.
So I know I haven’t written a post in a very long time, but I really haven’t had much to write about. I try and type for a reason not just to get some words up there. Thankfully some really exciting things should be happening before the end of the year and I shall report them back once they are official for those of you out there still reading!
Before that can happen there was one news article that caught my attention yesterday about horse meat becoming available in the US for human consumption.
At first I was angry because I grew up riding horses and there is no way I would ever eat Sunny, but then I remember the book Eating Animals and the concept of why we can eat certain animals over others. The article explains that the horses that were previously slaughtered in the US are now just being shipped north and south to Canada and Mexico, thus causing the farmers to actually lose money and the horses still die in the end.
According the the USA Today article, horse meat is top shelf in Europe and Asia, so why to Americans hold them higher on the totem pole then the cow, pig, or chicken? According to Eating Animals it is because we humanize them. We give them a name, make them a friend and a pet. I am pretty sure if you were the owner of a potbelly pig you would be less likely to eat him and his cousins.
The article and idea really make you think. Why would you eat Bessy the cow over Fido the dog? What is it about domesticated animals that make them deserve to live over their barnyard kin? It makes me think of the movie Babe where the cat tells Pig every animals place on the farm.
My personal stance on meat is not so much the kind of animal (although I would have a mental problem eating dog or horse), rather it is the way the animal was treated during its life and how it was slaughtered. Whether you are a horse or a cow going through a factory farm, the kill floor is a very sad place. I could go into detail, but I am sure you get the idea and just head over to PETA if you need a visual. I follow the rules of Michael Pollen because they make sense to me. I support local meat products, from small farms, and I pay the premium for meat I can celebrate eating (about once a week) without feeling bad for the animal that died.
Whether it is horse meat or cow meat, I think we need to become more aware of our food system. I hope that this new “meat on the market” will make people see how all animals killed for consumption are treat instead of just pretending animal cruelty doesn’t exist and picking up the next mangers special.
I would love to hear your thought! Even if you do not agree with me, I love a good debate!