Mindful Eating – Think about where your meat is coming from

As one of my 2011 challenges I said I would try to eat locally raised meat. At first it was because I wanted to support the local guys and not the big name companies. Well, after reading a few books and watching a few documentaries about how mass production of beef, pork and poultry are raised, fed and slaughtered, I am more determined now than ever to know where my meat came from and what the animal ate. I am going on 2 weeks of having no meat so far. Not because I’m giving up meat entirely, but because I haven’t had the chance of getting to my local butcher, farmer and Whole Foods to pick it up.

It’s not as hard as I thought it would be. I guess since I’ve made up my mind not to purchase big brand meat I just don’t. Pretty easy. What was a little bit harder was when we went out to eat and to a Super Bowl party. The restaurant we went to did not have one single entrée item that didn’t have meat. Not one. I did get a pasta dish and asked for it with out the chicken. At the Super Bowl party I was loading up my plate with all the yummy appetizers everyone brought and was wrapped up in the moment so I was not thinking about what I was putting on my plate. Just as I was about to put a chip with taco dip in my mouth my husband brought to my attention that there was meat in the dip. Doh! There went that. I settled for an extra helping of guacamole instead.

I’m heading to my in-laws in St. Louis this weekend where they will think I’m absurd for my new way of thinking and eating. This will be a challenge in itself. I’m not out to prove anything nor am I out to tell people they are wrong for eating mass-produced meat. This is a personal choice that I’ve decided is best for me and my daughter. My husband is going along with it as well.

Food For Thought

Some food facts from the book – The Omnivore’s Dilemma: The Secret Behind What You Eat by Michael Pollan

  • Possible ingredients in cattle feed: chicken manure, cattle manure, chocolate, stale pastry, cement dust, molasses, candy, urea, hooves, feathers, meat scraps, fish meal, pasta, peanut skins, brewery wastes, cardboard, corn silage, pesticides.
  • “For years, leftover beef scraps were ground up and put into cattle feed. After all, it was protein, and cattle need protein to grow. Then people in England began dying of a sickness called mad cow disease. Mad cow is a brain disease that is always fatal. It is spread by eating the brains of infected animals. Ground-up cattle brains were put into cattle feed and some of those cows got mad cow disease. Human beings who ate infected beef also got the disease. There were no human cases reported in the United States.” “The government banned the practice in 1997, but there are some exceptions.” (pg. 56)
  • Corn-fed beef contains more saturated fat than the meat of grass-fed animals. It also has less of the healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids than grass-fed animals.
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