Yes, I know the title is misleading because, well, I’ve recently gone vegetarian. But because I have not converted my husband or kidlets, I am still buying meat for them.
My social media expert and very knowledgeable BFF @ShellyKramer approached me recently as she knows me to be a Green Gal. We’re both disgusted by what goes on behind the scenes in the food industry (see Food, Inc. for further details), and are concerned for our health and that of our children. Fortunately, Shelly is friends with a farmer in NE Kansas, and so we have the exciting opportunity to purchase a local, GRASS-fed (as opposed to corn-fed) cow that hasn’t been treated with hormones and is allowed to graze naturally. Shelly and I are looking for other locals to go in on this cow with us (it’s a lot of meat), so if you are interested, please get in touch with me a.s.a.p.
I just spent 20 minutes on the phone with Deborah, the farmer, who said that right now our cow is hanging out in a 40-acre pasture. The cows on the farm are rotated around the pastures in herds of about 15. They are not confined because that is what causes diseases. They are a licensed, certified organic farm, and their meat is federally inspected. Deborah said they “don’t sell to just anyone,” that ideally their goal is to build relationships with people who want to know their farmers and where their food is coming from. Isn’t that incredible?
We will take the girls to visit the farm this fall and get to see our cow. I think that somehow, watching him just chillin’ eating his grass and hay will help me feel a teensy bit better. At least he is living a pleasant life now, unlike his counterparts squeezed into cow lots, injected with hormones and antibiotics, never seeing the light of day and unable to move while standing in their own feces.
Now before you get your panties in a wad and start thinking I’m going all granola, I assure you I am not (not that granola is bad at all, in fact I kinda wish I was more granola-y). So here are some other (random) things about me:
- Yesterday I ate a non-organic apple with non-organic peanut butter
- I drive a gas-slugging minivan. And was belting out Bananarama on my way home from a grocery store that was not Whole Foods (although I try to shop there frequently).
- We have been drinking local Shatto milk for years now; and I only just realized that while it’s a local dairy and they use glass bottles which I love, the cows are fed some corn. This gives me the sads. The cows are not given hormones, however. Whew!
- Some of my fave good-for-you/organic/all natural food brands include Kashi, Back to Nature, Stonyfield, Annie’s Homegrown, & Newman’s Own Organics.
- Occasionally Twinkies find their way into the pantry, and typically The Father Load is to blame for this.
- I have lofty notions of buying a Prius when the girls are a little older/bigger.
- I think I may be failing miserably at composting. Can someone please come evaluate the contents of my tumbler? I may also be tumbling too vigorously, as twice the contraption has belched out its contents all over the place. So I had to put it all back in by hand. It was tres lovely.
- FOR LADIES ONLY: you should seriously consider organic tampons. Did you know that they use chemicals like bleach on your Kotex/Playtex, etc? I don’t want bleach & chemicals up inside of me where they’re absorbed. I bought a Diva Cup a while back, but my ob/gyn told me best not to use it because of menstrual backflow which can lead to endometriosis.
Anycow, I am saying all this because I want you to know that I’m not perfect. There are Twinkies in my cupboard sometimes, there is garbage at my curb every Monday, and I still use paper towels (not as much). I’ve thought about chucking it all and going back to the way things used to be, wondering if one person/one family can really make a difference. But I’ve come too far. I am learning and educating myself more every day. Baby steps.
I encourage you once again to watch Food, Inc. Add it to your Netflix queue, go to Blockbuster, or see if it’s playing On-Demand. We have got to start educating ourselves and moving in a better, healthier direction.