First, a food source (Hey, I haven’t done TOO badly on the food theme for the month!): Eat Well Guide.
During the audience question and answer session with Al Gore in Austin, FoodGal was lucky enough to ask a question about beef. Specifically whether he was aware that the beef industry is actually the biggest contributor to green house gases thanks to feeding all our cattle corn products which causes them to procude methane in large quantities. In laymans terms – corn makes cows fart. A LOT. It’s not a natural food for their stomachs to process. They are supposed to eat grain. Her point of course, is that it is time to publicize that. Stop selling the idea that corn fed beef is a premium product because it is not. What I love about FoodGal is that she is not a militant vegetarian. She’s made her own choices, but she is also always looking out for ways that everyone else can eat healthier, locally, and supporting sustainable products. Of course, her question got the laugh line answer of the day since Gore answered quite honestly that he was aware of it and that he clearly wasn’t doing much to work on that issue since he eats beef 😉 She then wrote a follow up editorial to him about how her point was not that he should stop eating it, just that he should focus on eating beef that is grain fed and from sustainable farms. She and I discussed this quite a bit on the plane ride home and then I asked her how I could find places that seel grain fed meat. Ta da! She directed me to The Eat Well Website. Put in your zip code and search on all sorts of food sources. Grocery stores, farmers markets, restaurants etc. I found out that Henry’s markets are on there. So is Jimbos which is just around the corner, but I don’t have an employee discount card for them! So my goal this month with SportsBoy back is to track my grocery budget with a combination of the Dream Dinners (not necessarily from organic/sustainable suppliers 😦 ) and Henry’s only.
On the subject off environmentally (green) products, here is another one. Nail polish with a consience. I went to Longs and bought some and then donated my other personal polish bottles to the gal who does my nails because I want to stick with this brand only.
Just as a background for those who have only been reading my site in the past year – my roots in environmental issues were set early on. My interest in bird watching sparked my awareness of preserving natural resources and a college paper that I wrote on Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring really cemented that desire to support preservation efforts. As FoodGal and I discussed, environmental issues go hand in hand with the food industry and it is our hope that the “mainstreaming” of organic food products will bring issues like grain fed vs corn fed beef to light. Anytime I run into a debate about Global Warming, rather than stubbornly argue the issue of whether humans are to blame or not, I stress that the point is that finding alternative energy sources, encouraging the reduction of waste or using less products that create waste (grocery bags for instance), buying organic foods, cutting back on electricty and water use are all GOOD things no matter WHY you do them.
Tomorrow! Tomorrow! 6:00pm tomorrow! It’s only a daaaay. Aaaaawaaaaay! (apologies for the earworm, but you knew I had to do it)
I’m feeling all pleased with myself just contemplating the 1/2 side of locally-raised grass-fed beef I have in my freezer. Environmentally friendly and better-tasting to boot–what a deal!
I also found that I can order all kinds of agricultural products through a state cooperative. I’m looking into that as well.
I would LOVE to buy more grain or grass-fed beef, but I have yet to find a reasonably priced source here. In Ft. Wayne we would buy 1/4 side from our secretary, whose DH raised a few cows and would let us know when one was ready to butcher. But I can’t afford to pay the prices they want for anything labeled “organic” or from the co-ops here…..its usually more than twice what I pay in the grocery store and for a family of 5 with already prohibitive grocery and gas costs we just can’t swing it. I would even drive for it, if it was worth it.
Oooh, thanks for the nail polish link. I’ve been thinking about getting some lately a bit… I don’t currently have any, but I do get an inkling for nail color maybe once a year. I will definitely check that out.
Surprisingly, to me, I haven’t been able to find any good source of grass-fed beef here. It kinda ticks me off. It was fairly easy to find in NH… I was even once invited to go ‘meet’ the cows before the slaughter one year, but I had to turn it down. I just couldn’t do it. It’s a contradiction, I know… I do wish I could find something here now. Sigh…
Marcia, is that Ft. Wayne, IN? I know of no other, but who knows… I’m in NW IN, and yes, the prices of some of the locally raised meats are substantially higher too, I’ve found. I’m still looking however…
Yes, Marcia used to live in Ft Wayne IND 🙂
Thanks for your interest in the eat well guide and I hope you’ve used it since your post. I am a volunteer for the guide and I wanted you let you know about their most recent venture with the Consumers Union to issue a Local, Organic Thanksgiving Challenge. We’re inviting people to take a spin on the Eat Well Guide to find local food and cook at least one local (preferably organic) dish for Thanksgiving, and share recipes at the CU site. Read more about it at the Green Fork. [http://blog.eatwellguide.org/2008/11/take-the-local-organic-thanksgiving-challenge/]. Thanks and we look forward to hearing from you.