Having all come from Canada, in our youth, our parents would, once or twice a year, order a side of beef from the local farmer and deep-freeze it — and families would take out a piece for a roast, or steaks — throughout the course of the year. All the meat from one animal, cleaned and cut by one farmer, after having lived a life of grass-grazing in acres of grazing farmland. I had forgotten how that meat tasted. Slightly gamey, rich and delicious.
So, we were all blown away when we tasted the different steaks. The grass-fed, free-range meat tasted EXACTLY like the meat all of us remembered. And, seriously, we had forgotten the true taste of meat.
Last night, I sat myself down and watched Food, Inc. And it shook me to my core. I truly hadn’t realized (or hadn’t wanted to realize) how food got to our tables. There were two things that got me in my gut. The first was the indignity and lack of respect for the animals we eat. When you looked at the free-range animals against those in the meat industries version of concentration camps for cows, pigs and chickens, there was no question. The free-range animals were not stressed, eating what nature intended them to eat and looked healthy. The meat industry animals lived and died in abject fear. Not an ounce of respect for creatures of this planet — regardless if they were being bred for our consumption or not — just absolute disrespect for their living, breathing existences. That was the first. The second insult to my sensibilities was the image of the cows standing in, living in, and dying, in their own excrement. Up to their knees in sh**. Literally. Watching their excrement covered carcasses being cleaned and treated made it a no-brainer to realize how e-coli was working its way into our food.
So…I’m done. Yesterday (after years of becoming more and more back in touch with nature), I decided that I was shifting my food consumption to fully organic. Pesticide, hormone-free, free-range, corn filler-free, soy filler-free organic. No more fast food pit stops (because I’ll likely be ill if I do.) No more chocolate filled with high fructose corn syrup or any of the million differently named preservatives. I figure if I don’t know what that ingredient on the label is…well, then I should probably not eat it.
What can I control vs. what can I not control? Well, I certainly can’t control the meat, produce, and manufactured consumables industries. But I can control what I choose to purchase. I can go to the Tapia Brothers farmers just 2 blocks from my home and purchase their in-season produce. I can go to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s and purchase only certified organic. I can try to find grass-fed cows and free-range chickens and farmers who aren’t using genetically-altered soy bean seeds (of the few that are able to still survive the monopoly hammers on their heads.) I can and so, I will. I walk about 5 miles a day and yet I can’t rid my mid-section of a roll of fat. Well, I’m pretty sure, that just as the cows and chickens become super-marbled with fat in record time, the same is happening to me. I’d make a delicious meal, most likely, for a tribe of cannibals. But rather than wait until diabetes claims me, I’m making the move to better food choices today. Even though money is tight. Even though it costs more. Even though.
Here’s just the first few minutes.