so. we watched food, inc.

i'm sure most of you eco-minded folks have already seen this. we were late to jump on the train, but watched it over our computer the other night. wow.

honestly, the documentary concreted many of my suspicions--basically that if you don't know where your food is coming from, chances are the answer isn't going to be something you want to hear. i was already familiar with some of the information provided--the horrors behind factory chicken farming, the fact that it's far cheaper (in the short run) for a family to eat a diet of fast food rather than a diet of fruits and veggies, america's dependance on corn, and the far-reaching effects of monsato's stronghold over genetically-engineered seeds & crops. all depressing stuff, really. which plays a large part in the changes we've made in our own household over time (switching to organic whenever possible, shopping at farmer's markets, joining a csa, raising chickens for eggs, etc.).

still, there were more than a few instances during the film when my mouth literally dropped open--meat being routinely washed in ammonia to rid it of potentially harmful bacteria. the fact that a single fast-food hamburger contains beef coming from 1,000 cows. the disgusting lengths that monsanto has taken to stamp out small farms and farmers. the many disguises that corn has when listed on an ingredient label.

so. where do we go from here?

jeremy and i have agreed that it's high time to look for alternative sources of meat. we regularly buy beef and pork from trader joe's, with some chicken thrown in on occasion. not that we're big meat eaters--certainly the opposite is true. but it's time to make the switch to grass fed and local. my stomach feels queasy at the idea of buying (and consuming) any more factory-farmed meat. and, as i've said here before, i do believe in the whole "voting with your food dollars" thing.

we are now looking into either joining a meat csa with regular pickups, or buying directly from a local farm as needed. both options are expensive. which means we may be looking into more veggie-based meals to help cut back on our meat consumption. with our farm box bounty, it shouldn't be too hard. i'll keep you posted when we make our decision soon.

we eat fast food so rarely it's almost not worth mentioning--maybe 4 times per year. this will not be hard to give up. as for the rest of dining out, i really don't know. we always try to pick places that serve fresh, quality food. but every now and then, a girl likes a cheap taqueria burrito. i guess from now on, it'll be a cheap beans and rice taqueria burrito. ole.


Anonymous said...

I am so afraid to watch it. I haven't touched fast food since I heard about it, but where do I buy meat? I don't think I have anything like farm boxes here in NJ. I need to research!

Is Trader Joe's okay then? I can make trips there for meat...

Lean in NJ

erin said...

lean--do some research, you may be surprised. i live in a very populated urban area and was shocked to find a local supplier of grass-fed beef only 15 minutes from my home.

otherwise, make sure you look for antibiotic-free meats. grain fed is always going to be better than animals fed a corn-based diet. cows were not meant to eat corn, but since it is cheaper, that's what they're given.

i forget the exact statistics, only a handful of companies process something like 80% of the meat in the united states. and they are factory farms. which means basically, if you buy meat from a supermarket, it is coming out of one of these factories. i'm not sure how trader joes fits into the equation. more research needed for sure.

good luck!

Mrs. S said...

I have to read this book! I am disgusted by some of the facts you have listed here. Ew ew ew!!! Thanks for writing this, I will be doing research and buying local grass fed beef!

kellenberger89 said...

I am an RN and I do volunteer work with a group called Health Care Without Harm so I have been on top of this for a while. We only eat local meet and at that we only eat it a couple times a week.Another thing you need to be aware of and Erin I am sure you know this and have probably posted something about it in the past. Watch where your milk and milk products come from. You want them to be organic or labeled as rBGH free. Yoplay and Dannon both with rBGH free in the past year. Did you all know that another reason to stay away from fractory farm meat is that 70%of all antibiotics produced in this country go to agriculture? That is the feed the factory farms use is laced with it.That is bad for us, as the medical community is aware of,when we need antibiotics. Also please voice your opinion to your schools and hospitals. They should be the first ones on top of this!!.

Bana said...

Long time reader, first time commenter. We get our meat from a local farm (we're lucky and live in Maryland, close to tons of farms). Actually, one of our local farms, Gunpowder Bison, has a great Web site (http://www.gunpowderbison.com/) where you can order bison meat. I'm sure you can find farms close to you, but this is an option. Good luck! It's been one of the more positive changes we've made to our diet.