Friday, May 13, 2011
You Are What You Eat
I can not express the importance of knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown. I am exceptionally anal when it comes to meat and dairy products. I have read every food book available, The Food Revolution, The Omnivores Dilemma, Mad Cowboy, Diet for a New America, etc. It became an obsession to the point of cutting out all meat and dairy from my diet. But as much as I highly respect that cruelty-free lifestyle, I am a carnivore. I love meat, eggs and cheese, but now I know what to look for when buying these products.
Let' talk eggs. Without making any of you fine ladies throw up in your mouth, I will keep this as PC as possible. Chickens are born, boy chicks are thrown away (literally), females have their beaks cut off (this prevents them from plucking themselves or other chickens to death) they are pumped full of antibiotics and hormones to grow so large that their legs break (b/c they naturally can not carry the weight), they are kept in disgusting conditions, are starved to force their bodies to lay more eggs, and most never see the light of day. Pretty shitty life right??
What to look for when buying eggs:
”Cage-free” does not mean the hens are treated humanely. They may still be pumped with antibiotics and hormones, along with suffering from debeaking.
Certified Organic is your best choice (although there are still some inhumane practices allowed). The birds are uncaged, and are required to have outdoor access. They are fed an organic, all-vegetarian diet free of antibiotics and pesticides.
Want something better? Visit your farmer's market. Most local farmers raise their chickens on a small scale (enough to make eggs to sell locally only). Having a fresh egg is really mind blowing. The color is bright orange and the taste far exceeds anything you buy on the grocery store shelf.
What to look for when buying milk.
This one is very simple. ORGANIC!!! Again the cruelty involved in dairy farms is atrocious. To keep a steady supply of milk, cows are repeatedly impregnated. Several times a day, dairy cows are hooked by their udders to electronic milking machines that can cause electrical shocks, and painful lesions. People get really offended when I mention pus in milk, but seriously it's there!! Do you really want to drink milk with growth hormones that most industrialized nations have banned? Don't get me started with that one. Thanks for looking out USDA!!
This one's a toughy. I have found that buying meat from reputable businesses (Whole Foods, Central Market) is a safe bet. Farmer's Markets are also great too. How great is a steak from a happy cow that's been grazing on grass it's whole life? Spend a few extra bucks and get something you can feel comfortable feeding yourself and your family. Food is not an area to skimp on. Read labels!! Investigate! I recently discovered this gem of a product and I am hooked.
Seriously their Hot Soppressata is so addictive! And they make hot dogs! With ingredients you can pronounce! I went online and love what they stand for. And isn't that what it's all about?? A true Mission Statement??