The giveaway included at the end of this post is now closed. But please keep reading because there’s a LOT of wonderful information here I don’t want you to miss!
I am SO excited to share my new year’s resolution with you. And I’m SUPER excited about today’s giveaway (there will be 5 winners – sweet, eh?). So let’s get to it, shall we?
Years ago I read the article “Unhappy Meals” by Michael Pollan in the New York Times. Combined with other reading and many discussions with people in “the know,” I have since been very interested in what eating healthy really means. As a result, I rarely buy processed foods and read all food labels with great skepticism, especially the ones with health claims. (Go read the article if you haven’t already. It’s awesome.)
I also think about the environment a lot. No matter where you stand on the issue, it is clear that we humans need to take steps to heal our planet. My dear friend Emily (who you can thank for the existence of this blog, by the way) recently recommended to me the book Food Matters by Mark Bittman (a writer for the New York Times and cookbook author whom I love – p.s. he’s not vegetarian). Food Matters talks extensively about the environmental impact of the way we eat. It’s astounding. In fact, I can only read the book in small snippets because I get too frustrated with the state of things. But it is an inspiring book and has over 75 recipes to get you going. (The NY Times article Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler by Mark Bittman is a great article and introduction to the issue. At the very least, read that article. You can also get information on Mark’s website, where you can officially become a lessmeatarian!)
Some interesting tidbits that caught my attention (just a few among many):
- 40 calories of fossil fuel are required to produce 1 calorie of beef protein.
- Meat consumption would have to fall 3 oz. a day to stabilize greenhouse gasses produced by livestock (which, by the way, produces more greenhouse gases than transportation)
- In the late 1970s, the government nutrition recommendations were going to be “eat meat sparingly”…that is until the lobbies found out. The verbiage was switched to “eat less fat,” which changed everything and had multiple negative impacts (read the book for details!)
- It’s not just about eating more organic dairy and grass-fed meat. If all of us switched to grass-fed beef today, we’d have to destroy most of our farmland and forests to create enough land for the cows to graze. There is simply too much demand. (Our consumption of meat per person has increased significantly over the last century.)
Bottom line: Eat less meat. Eat less junk food. Eat more whole foods. We need to, for our own health and for the planet. Which leads us to the new year’s resolution portion of the program…
I am going to cook and eat less meat going forward. I’m not eliminating it, I’m not becoming vegetarian or vegan. But I am going to increase my consciousness about the impact my food choices have on the environment and try to do something about it. I’m going to buy more local produce and meat, probably even join a CSA. I’m not going crazy but taking it one step at a time. I want the change to be sustainable because it has to be. We only have one earth. This is one meaningful way I can help save it.
What does this mean for you? Two things.
- I’m going to explore vegetarian cooking (recipes, tips, etc) and share the journey with you. (No worries, for the carnivores…meat will still make appearances on the blog. Hello, Swedish Meatballs. But we will be eating less of said meatballs.)
- A GIVEAWAY!
FIVE lucky random winners will each win one paperback copy of Food Matters by Mark Bittman. I wish I could get a copy for each and every one of you. It’s a fast read with wonderful info and recipes. You can buy it here…and of course you should enter the giveaway by adding a comment to this post by Midnight PT, Thursday, January 14. Good luck!
Eat well, friends. Your body will thank you. So will Mother Earth.