I didn’t get around to writing a Menu Plan Monday post this week, partly because I picked up some overtime at work and have been too busy, and also because this is another empty out the pantry week. We’re out of meat, but my pantry is still overcrowded so I’m making some meatless meals like bean burritos, pasta, and chickpea curry. Not the most inspiring week for cooking, but it’s nice freeing up some room in the pantry and some money in the grocery budget.
After reading the companion book to the documentary Food Inc., I am perfectly okay eating mostly meatless again this week. Let me preface this by saying I’m not a huge animal rights activist or anything and I love a juicy, tender filet mignon or burger. Food Inc. discusses the industrialization of American agriculture/food production and all of the implications in terms of quality of diet, labor practices for farm workers, genetically engineered food, environmental impact, etc.
The discussion on what is fed to cattle and poultry, which we then eat, was absolutely revolting. It’s one of those things where I think we all have an underlying idea that what goes on with our future food in a slaughterhouse is unpleasant, but we’d rather not really know so we choose to ignore it. I’m not even touching on whether or not the animals’ living conditions and method of slaughter is humane – for me, just the idea of what passes as acceptable industry standards for food we consume has disgusted me to the point that I’m not sure I can stomach buying anything that is not certified organic, at least for red meat. Pink slime, anyone?
My husband is starting his own diet and will be receiving all of his own food, so this frees me up to eat a lot less meat. While it’s substantially more expensive to buy organic animal products, I have found that cutting out a lot of the processed convenience foods and drinks I used to buy frees up money to do this. I’ve also sought out more recipes that don’t require a lot of meat or cheese, so you save even more money if you just don’t need to buy it altogether.
I am sharing this not because I want to convert you all to vegetarians or suggest organic is the only way to go (I don’t think I could ever give up meat altogether), but rather to just explain the direction where my diet is headed. I hope you will soon see a shift in my weekly recipes and while I’m saddened by what I have recently learned, I am glad that with some small changes I can at least make a difference in my own household.
Do you try to buy organic/all natural? How many of my readers are vegetarian or vegan?