Day 33: On The Right Path

Day 33: On The Right Path

Sep 02

As we planned, we’ve taken a relaxed approach to our diet where social situations are concerned. Just today, I attended an employee appreciation BBQ at work, where I had a pulled pork sandwich and other normally unacceptable foods. The caterer had already purchased and prepared all the food, and I’m sure that they just threw away the leftovers when it was all over. I have to say, though, that I actually wish I had just let them throw my portion out. The pork was so tasteless, and the cole slaw was oily (mayonnaise shouldn’t taste that much like oil!). I didn’t feel that highly appreciated, to be honest.

At home, however, which is where eat and/or prepare 90% of our meals, we have been fairly strict, though it’s been almost effortless. By and large, we’ve gone vegetarian, which has been easier than I had thought it would be. One of the largest concerns I’ve always had with giving up meat entirely is that of not feeling full after a meal of just vegetables and fruits. This is certainly not the case. I feel full, and I feel great. I’m realizing that I’ve just been hardwired to see meat as a necessary ingredient. In fact, the ideal American dinner revolves around meat. Without meat, what will be the focus of the meal? Even when cooking a vegetarian meal, most people ask the question: What will I use as my protein – my meat substitute? We’re slowly moving away from substituting meat and cooking a meal with a different shape and a different focus.

After one month of research and lifestyle change, Laura and I still have not visited any local farms, and we haven’t gotten to know our local providers very well at all. However, we’ve had quite a bit of planning and preparing to do, between vacations, work trips, new jobs and a couple of untimely illnesses, not to mention changing our food budget and grocery shopping habits! Going forward, we both look forward to collecting eggs directly from a farm and developing a relationship with some local distributors of happy animal meat.

Also, although I haven’t written a whole lot about our research recently, we are still going at it. We’ve backed off a bit, because we absorbed a HUGE, overwhelming amount of material in a very short time. But I still have two book reviews to write, as well as a few thoughts that are offshoots of things I read in those books. One is very well known, and it’s called The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. Pollan is something of a famous figure in the world of local, organic food, and I found this book to be original and informative, if a bit biased. The second is probably not well known at all: Righteous Porkchop by Nicolette Hahn Niman. Hahn Niman is an environmental lawyer turned cattle rancher, and while her book is very fair and well-balanced, it’s also very heavy on statistics and data. Being a lawyer, she seems to leave no detail out. Being a cattle rancher, she portrays a vivid respect for the animals about which she writes. More detailed reviews of both of these books to come…

Oh, and what about those darned cats? Well, right now we are using Publix’s organic cat food, which certainly did NOT come from happy animals, but it’s better than non-organic. It better be, for what we paid for it, too! We’re still working out what we’ll do for the cats, but we’re starting by introducing canned tuna to them, to substitute for part of their dry diet. From there… Well, we’ll let you know.

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