One Fish, Two Fish

One Fish, Two Fish

Oct 30

I have been doing a lot of reading about fish lately. In these first three months you’ll remember we only chose to worry about meat, dairy and eggs, eating as much seafood as we wanted. Only now, I know how awful the way we get fish to our plate can be, and I think fish will be added to our list of foods we care about. Turns out we’re just as bad to the seas, lakes and oceans, as we...

Unravel

Unravel

Oct 13

I have been reading, Harvest for Hope; A Guide For Mindfull Eating, by Jane Goodall (yup the Chimp lady). And last night I read a quote she had from our beloved Michael Pollan. He likens the food industry as we know it to a sweater, woven of many threads. And everytime we buy organic, free range chicken, we are saying no to big agriusiness and pulling a single thread from that sweater. Not much...

Good Thing: Number 4

Good Thing: Number 4

Oct 12

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Source I don’t remember how I stumbled across this website, but it is such an amazing resource for farmers. It has tons of information and studies listed on ways to turn a regular farm to an organic one, how to rotate crops and animals, selling food locally, starting up a sustainable farm, water and pest management, and lots more. Now they...

Good Things: Number 3

Good Things: Number 3

Oct 09

Crave Brothers Dairy Crave Brothers is a farm run by actual brothers, Charles, Thomas, Mark and George who all grew up on a dairy farm and continue to run a farm in Wisconsin together now that they are all grown. I have never had Crave Brothers Cheese, you can’t even buy it in Florida, so I can’t tell you much about its flavor or cost. But the great thing about Crave Brothers, and...

Good Farming Practice

Good Farming Practice

Oct 08

Second in my posts about happy things in the world of food is Polyface Farm. We all know about factory farming conditions, how cows and chickens are crammed shoulder to shoulder and forced to live horrible lives. Well, Polyface is a farm that not only gives us cows and chickens that live natural lives but that interact in a perfect system to better the farm and environment. Anyone who has read...

It’s Not All Bad

It’s Not All Bad

Oct 05

Changing the way we eat and creating this blog came hand in hand with John and I researching food. I have read tons of books and websites by this point in our 3 month journey, that I have lost count. I have tried to read things that are by people pro meat and farming as we know it as well as those against it (there are many more against it of course). Unfortunately, one of the side effects of...

Day 65: Our Patio

Day 65: Our Patio

Oct 04

It doesn't look like much, but our patio is full of life and currently growing at an alarming rate. Without any arable land (or non-arable land, for that matter), we have started a garden using an army of containers, mostly pots with a couple of plastic storage bins thrown in to add some variety. Please click on the image and view it full-size to read all the labels and bask in the glory of my amateur-professional panoramic photo.

Finding the Way to a Better Farm

Finding the Way to a Better Farm

Oct 03

Laura recently commented to me that she had never realized that the “hippy” movement in the 1960′s was related in any way to what we are writing about every day on this blog. “Do you mean they knew about the dangers of factory farming back then, and we’re still struggling to get the information in the spotlight?” I had never consciously thought of it myself,...

Day 63: World Farm Animal Day

Day 63: World Farm Animal Day

Oct 02

Today is World Farm Animal Day (WFAD). I was trying to figure out what the greeting on this day should be, Happy World Farm Animal Day? Merry World Farm Animal Day? Except that it isn’t really a good thing to be celebrating so maybe “A very unhappy World Farm Animal Day to you!” would be more appropriate? It started in 1983 as a way to promote awareness of the cruelty to farmed...

Budget

Budget

Sep 28

I mentioned last month that my goal was to keep our food budget the same, despite the fact that meat and dairy that are sustainable, organic and humanely treated are much more expensive. I have to admit that we went way over our budget in August, failed miserably to be honest! Usually I budget $250 a month for groceries, and then add the extra money from other things (i.e. when we budget $130...

Grow Box

Grow Box

Sep 26

I posted last week about John and I planting our Second Spring garden. Our seeds are sprouting nicely and I am excited to see them inch high and higher. Last weekend at the Evening on the Farm event we attended, we learned about the Winter Park Harvest Festival. It is a food festival held 5 days before Thanksgiving, with cooking demos, meet the farmer sessions, and most importantly, a farmers...

You don’t know where it’s been…

You don’t know where it’s been…

Aug 30

When a child picks up something from the ground and tries to eat it, an adult will invariably say, “Don’t eat that. You have no idea where it’s been.” Why then is it acceptable to regularly eat food whose origins are completely unknown to us? Take a peek at that ingredient list some time, do a few Google searches, and find out exactly what plant or animal your lunch...

Our Addiction to Meat

Our Addiction to Meat

Aug 29

Meat consumption per person has continuously increased worldwide in the last 50 years. And we're certainly not getting any healthier. For most of human history, meat has been a wealthy indulgence. Only recently has meat become more financially accessible. This certainly sounds like a benefit of modern technology and human ingenuity — bringing a formerly elite product to the masses — until you look at how it's accomplished. There is no such thing as cheap meat. Read on for plenty of sources and statistics...

Taking Action

Taking Action

Aug 26

If you've read some of my recent posts, I may be sounding a bit like a conspiracy theorist to you. So let me clear the air: This blog (and my conviction) is not about any one group plotting to control the world. The fact is simply this: People want to make money. Companies use their money to battle government legislature that would lower their bottom line by lobbying and intimidating. The government will continue to represent the companies (instead of us, the constituency) unless we make our voice heard. Here are seven ways you can make your voice heard. (It's a lot of info, but it's worth at least skimming!)

Keeping Antibiotics Out of Our Food

Keeping Antibiotics Out of Our Food

Aug 24

In most factory farms, animals are fed antibiotics almost daily in their food rations. Constant exposure to antibiotics encourages bacteria and viruses to mutate, creating new strains that are immune to the drugs. Right now is your chance to change that. The FDA is seeking public comments on proposed rules that would limit the use of antibiotics in animals. Send your comments before August 30, 2010. Click 'read more' to find out how!

USDA

USDA

Aug 22

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is largely powerless when it comes to regulating food production in this country. You’d think that’s where the FDA takes over, but they, too, are mostly bark and very little bite. Following the outbreak of Mad Cow disease a few years ago, the USDA began testing a representative sample of the cattle in America, but did not believe the risk of the...

They’re Eating What?!

They’re Eating What?!

Aug 22

The following is a list of ingredients allowed by our government to be in cattle feed: * Chicken Litter (aka used chicken bedding, complete with chicken waste and dirt from the chickens) * Cattle manure * Beef Tallow (fat) from slaughtered cattle * Chocolate and other candy * Restaurant Leftovers (from stale pastries to pasta) * Cement dust * Urea (a chemical in urine) * Ground hooves * Feathers * Fish Meal (made from grinding down the whole fish (bones and guts too) into a powder) * Peanut Skins * Brewery wastes * Cardboard * Plastic Seriously? Who thought that was all okay to feed to a cow?

Fried Cheese Sandwich ???

Fried Cheese Sandwich ???

Aug 21

Breaded fried cheese in between two slices of bread with cheese. For $4? Courtesy of This Is Why You're Fat and Denny's.

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

Aug 20

It's funny that John just posted his last post, since I have been thinking about us and our mission as well. I have come to the conclusion that these last 20 days have resulted in many things, but the top of my list is merely thinking about my food. I can't say I have ever thought much about my food before. I have thought about how I am going to prepare this chicken breast for dinner, sauted or roasted? And I have thought about if said chicken breast was going to be cheaper for me to buy at Publix or Albertsons. But I can't really say that I have ever thought about where my food really came from, like beyond the supermarket.

Staying the Course

Staying the Course

Aug 19

When I am eating, I see and taste only what's in front of me. It's easy to see why I've bought (literally and figuratively) into the commercial production of food my entire life. I'm already thinking about how cheap and easy it was to buy frozen chicken breasts and generic milk. Our three-month experiment was partly meant to raise our own awareness of where our food comes from and how it's made, and after only 17 days, it's wildly successful. I will continue to eat consciously, and I will continue to search for ways I can effect change. Food is way too important to ignore, and way too important to trust to machines.

Day 17: Horrible Vegetarians OR The Best Vegetarians Ever

Day 17: Horrible Vegetarians OR The Best Vegetarians Ever

Aug 17

I checked the fridge this morning to prepare my lunch for work only to come to the startling realization that we have no vegetables! My first thought was that we are just horrible vegetarians. But Laura says we are actually such good and thrifty vegetarians that we buy what we need and eat it fresh. Perhaps she's right, but either way, we need some vegetables! And I need some good ideas for ways to use vegetables in no-cook lunches other than salads. Any ideas?

Holy Cow! (or pig really)

Holy Cow! (or pig really)

Aug 16

So I am kinda freaking out a little bit over what I just paid for a pork shoulder. I ventured to the Audubon Farmers Market today to see my friend Tony from Big Wheel Provisions (It’s become a Monday tradition). I told him and the other lovely people from Big Wheel, that I had just dusted off my slow cooker and was looking for something to make. They suggested the pork shoulder they had in,...

Eating Out

Eating Out

Aug 15

So, as John said in his last post, we went out to dinner in St. Augustine yesterday on vacation. We actually did some research before we went out that night and found a couple restaurants that sounded promising. We thought The Present Moment Cafe sounded good, but knew that talking the rest of the gang in to an all veg restaurant was going to be difficult (besides we wanted everyone, even the...

Family Vacation

Family Vacation

Aug 14

Every year, for five years now, my family takes a beach vacation together, renting a house or condo and enjoying the sand, sun, games, good food, and good conversation. This year is no different, and we found a beach-side place to stay in North Florida, where we are luxuriating as I write this. Of course, there is a slightly different tone to this trip for me and for Laura, and that has to do...

Connections

Connections

Aug 09

I love finding connections (which is why I love puzzles so much). The more I read about natural foods and farming methods, the more connections I am finding. Which makes sense, since connections are part of life, part of all natural systems. However, I'm realizing that there are no connections in the industrial food chain. In fact, that system works very hard to sever connections, between one animal and another, between consumers and producers, between the start and the finish. But if we are natural organisms and the food chain is a natural system, why are we content to eat unnatural food from a mechanized system? It no longer makes sense to me. It just doesn't connect. (Click 'read more' for a much wordier version of this.)