Friday, July 16, 2010


I've been thinking a lot about food lately (and always) as I try to create the menu for my business. What is on my mind most prevalently is meat. Is it ethical to eat meat? My standard response is we wouldn't have canine teeth if we were not intended by evolution to eat meat. Our brains wouldn't have grown to the size and capacity that they have if we hadn't climbed down from the fruit tree and started eating small animals. We wouldn't have straightend up our spine so that we could scan the plains for antelope. But we seem to have come to a point in our emotional maturation where killing seems wrong. Hopefully this is a sign that our lifespan as a species is long and we are just hitting that tender innocent young child phase of wanting to take care of everything around us. But what is the reasoning behind this. Is it the Industrial Revolution created distance from our food sources? The reality of meat has become so removed as to make us more sensitive to the unpleasant side? Is vegetarianism a luxury created by overabundance? Is it truly healthy? I believe that a vegetable based diet is a great detox diet. It will help start weight loss and begin a road to health. But I don't believe that it is a sustainably healthy diet. I feel there is a physical and chemical need for the nutrition provided by meat. It can be supplemented, but I do not believe that supplements should be included in a truly healthy diet. If one is eating well, supplementation is unnecessary. I also believe that foods are an intricate process combining vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins, fibers, and many undiscovered elements that create nutrition within our bodies. Separating any element causes unforeseen losses in the action.
Back to meat. Have we intellectualized ourselves to this point of questioning the ethical implications of eating meat? Is the question arising from a general sense of rebellion against the atrocities of factory farming? But then doesn't that mean that the pasture raised ethically treated and humanely slaughtered animal is okay? Wild animals shot without them being aware even better? Why does that seem callous? I have a dog that I love like one of my own kids. I know my dog has emotions, memories, desires. Pigs are smarter than dogs. I eat pork often. I would never eat or want anyone to eat my dog. When Bambi's mother gets shot, I'm furious at the asshole hunters who would do such a thing! But wild venison is a treat that I jump at when I get the chance. Disney had a stuffed fawn in his office that the animators used for reference in creating Bambi. Are we not wild animals ourselves? Aren't we just a pack of highly organized and intelligent monkeys? Doesn't death come and take us in cruel and callous ways? That asshole hunter Cancer came and took my Mommy away from me, just when I needed her the most (which is always). There is even evidence that the creators of certain types of cancer is in some office somewhere with lab rats to reference their work on. Do we think on some subconscious level that if we stop making animals suffer for our meat, we ourselves may not suffer either? That we will not die in a hurtful way?
What are your thoughts?
For now I'm sticking with sustainably, organically, locally, and ethically raised meat as the healthiest option. I'll continue to look for a way to rationalize my emotions with my beliefs with my desire to eat well.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The SOLE solution.

I want to eat food, not scientifically created substances that stimulate my taste buds in a positive and mildly addictive manner. I want to be able to feed my family and pay my bills, not pay several agencies and vendors that don't know what the product we are dealing with is. I want to know what we are eating, not play 20 questions. I want what we intake to nourish our insides, not create a new income for the medical clinic.
Finding a way to get local food on a budget with limited time for acquiring is my mission.
Until about 100 years ago food procurement was our first priority. With the industrial revolution and the shift of the majority of our populations to major cities, we have created a culture that thinks of meals as a side bar, something that must be gotten out of the way so we can get on with more important things. To some, meals are a nuisance. Media works tirelessly to convince us that the faster and the tastier the substance the better it is for our happiness.
A major obstacle to eating food is cultural training.
We have become a world of sanitary efficiency with more illness and less time for living. Think of the people who are disgusted to consider where an egg or milk comes from. That cutting vegetables to make the family meal takes too much time is a digestive disorder in the creation.
We are also under attack from the "system" of food supply itself. I think we are all aware that industry is not looking out for public welfare. The bottom line for any large business is the bottom line in profits. Make more, cheaper, faster. That is good business in the market of today. It is more cost effective to make restitution than to make consistently high quality product. One only needs look up the lobbying dollars spent by major corporations to see that in detail. In 2008 Kraft spent over 3.5 million dollars in lobbying.
Enough about the bad stuff...the why is it important stuff...
What am I gonna do about it?
Shopping at the Farmer's Market is sometimes up to half the cost in many cases. An example is the Shitake mushrooms, At the Farmer's Market they are $7 a pound, at New Leaf they are $14.99 a pound. Plus the kids get to see and feel and often taste the other local farm products, as well as talk to the farmer about the product. We know it's in season and we can easily see where it came from.
Finding meat can be difficult. We want pasture raised organic meat. Though through research and disscusion I know that the Westside Farmer's Market has TLC Ranch which carries pork and eggs, they also sell Morris Ranch Beef. The Saratoga F.M. has Pacines Ranch chickens. though that is a bit of a drive, we buy several at a time, cut them up and freeze the portions, while making medicinal bone broth.
The trouble I'm having is finding local grains. I was really bummed when I found out that Gayles uses ConAgra flour. It shed a sad light on local bread and pasta for me.
The real solution is to grow as much of our own food as possible. A return to the kitchen garden and family flocks. After a disaster, food and water becomes the first concern. Imagine if we all had little gardens, a couple chickens, and maybe a dairy animal. How about a garden well? How much money would we save? How self sufficient would we feel? How about self worth? To provide for oneself and loved ones. Imagine the community feel. Neighborhoods discussing the raising of food and sharing the overabundance. Utopian or just around the corner? I need to work on this more, but what do you think?