What are we really eating?

These are the common British cuts of beef. Bas...

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First of all a couple of confessions:

1. I skim almost all posts that have to do with Organic/Natural food. It’s exhausting and seems a bit expensive.

2. I’m shallow…the less I know, the better I feel (ie: don’t have to be responsible for it).

Now, with that out of the way…you won’t believe what I saw last night!

Disclaimer: PBS makes me break out in hives on most occasions due to childhood torture from my mother and the show “Nova”. However, last night they had a mush-gushy, feel good show about a company that matches Assistance Dogs with their owners. Most of the “owners” were kids. It was so inspirational to watch this child bond with his/her dog and build a relationship AND know they have a sidekick that will help either open a door, or even alert family members that a seizure is coming on.

At the end of the show I left the room to put the boys to bed and when I got back PBS was showing this POV series on Food, Inc.  It was so disturbing! My moment of joyful elation quickly went to nauseating horror. This particular series was about ‘What we eat, and how it’s produced’.  It was like a train wreck…I couldn’t change the channel! I had to know just how my beef was slaughtered!  My head is still spinning but the things that stood out was:

  • There are less that 20 beef slaughter houses in the US and they have so many cows coming through there that there is NO WAY they can be sanitary enough. We’re talking cow poop in the patties, people!
  • Every thing we eat is pretty much scientifically created from corn. Everything. Think about that.
  • Chickens are pumped so full of fattening agents so fast, they can’t even stand up longer than a few seconds.
  • Chickens are pumped so full of antibiotics that they are now being attacked by bad bugs that are antibiotic-resistant.
  • There is something seriously wrong between the farmers and the government when you can get 2-3 hamburgers for the price of a head of broccoli.

So what is the answer? I’m not sure. Of course, I immediately wanted to get land and raise my own chickens, garden, beef, etc. But realistically…right now…what can I do?

Baby steps…

Our Farmer’s Market just started back up for the season, so I will get my veggies, some dairy, and some meat from them. My folks and I will be doing a garden again this year so I know where those veggies are coming from.  I don’t know what to do about our beef. We really don’t eat ground beef, but I’m a steak and potatoes kind of girl!

Bottom-line: I wish I wouldn’t have seen that show. I feel responsible to my family to pay attention and make changes to the type of food we’re consuming. What are you guys doing? If anything… I don’t want to go all crazy, but I also don’t want to keep eating cow patties!

Would love any insight you guys have.

 

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  • We buy a half-cow from a local farmer every year, and our friends buy the other half. A local meat locker butchers it for us, and cuts it up/packages it up how we want it, then we go pick it up. Costs about $2/pound for everything– steaks, ground beef, whatever we want. Fresher meat, tastier, and HEALTHIER.

      • It really depends on the size of the cow. Typically, we spend anywhere from $550-$700 and it lasts us a year. This is ground beef, steaks, roasts, stew meat… everything. You choose how you want the meat cut, how you want it packaged. For example, we knew wanted our ground beef in 1.5 lb packages, and we wanted our pot roasts in about 2.5-3 lb sizes… they do all that for you, and wrap in the white butcher paper, and its all frozen for you when you pick it up. You just definitely need the freezer space to store it. Depending on how often you want to eat red meat, it will last up to a year.

  • About a year ago I went partial Organic. I buy my milk and eggs organic (or at least cage free on the eggs, but prefer organic). We eat mostly chicken & turkey, but no where really near me sells them organic. On occasion I’ll buy organic fruits & veggies. I try hard not to do pre-processed food, but it’s just so much easier.

  • Food Inc is fantastic and I try to get everyone I can to see it. I saw it in the theater last year and then had to go to the grocery store right after, talk about trauma!
    We eat a vegetarian diet and have for 11 years. While I know that there are issues with corn, soy and other veggies, I think not consuming meat (or as much) can make a big differences. Buy local when you can. I am also happy to have the farmer’s market back and get as many of my veggies there as I can. I read food lables and try to avoid things that are overly processed. We just each need to use our minds when we shop and eat, not just our stomachs, We need to think before we eat and support what we believe in with our choices and our dollars.

    • Thank you so much for your thoughts on this, Pamela. Honestly I’m surprised that buying local isn’t as easy as I thought it would be considering I live in Missouri. But I’m definitely going to buckle down and get to researching what is available locally.

  • Eeewww. I’ve been trying to eat cleaner but I have a family of non conformists. I like the idea of buying 1/2 a cow with a friend. I’ve been looking into that lately. I don’t think I’ll be watching that show.

  • Our brother used to eat dirt from the curb while waiting for the bus…today he looks better than either of us. Whats a little cow poo between friends.

    “Wonder twin powers…activate!”

    “Form of…OCD bacteria who consume human body fat! ”
    “Form of…anti-constipation intestinal worm whose has an illogical fear of swirling water!”

  • I have to admit I’ve avoided watching shows like that, because I know the answers. A few of my friends are big into artisan beef, which is a tad more costly but supposedly “real food”. As my twitter friend @CarrieOliver, she is a wealth of information.

    For me, I try to do the best I can every day. I pay a few bucks more and try to get the best quality I can, whether from the grocery store or the home goods store. I feel that in our pursuit of lower prices, we’re also accepting lower quality and higher risks. There’s no way that place with a W can offer eggs for $0.80 a dozen, without something being compromised.

    As with wine – you get what you pay for. Me, I’ll spring the extra few bucks for a nice bottle.. or a nice steak!

  • Found your blog in Tuesday’s Unwrapped. Very clever title–of course, I had to click on it.

    My father was a meat cutter. Instead of giving me money during college (which I would have wasted), my dad gave me free steak. There is no way I could ever be a vegetarian! Instead, I married a hunter. I know there are many people who think hunting is cruel. But! My husband says that when he takes the life of an animal, it makes him more aware of being responsible and humane (I think that’s probably true for most farmers who slaughter their own livestock as well). We’re very conscientious about not wasting meat, and my husband has become quite the venison and wild turkey gourmet. (Which always pair well with a nice bottle of wine).

    I plan to visit your blog from time to time.

    • Hey Nancy…thanks for stopping by! My husband is a hunter too…well, he used to be before life got away from him. He went deer hunting for the first time in years this last season, but didn’t catch a thing. :-(

  • I’m here from Emily’s too.

    I have always considered myself ‘anti-green,’ but recently began purchasing organic milk, as well as eggs from my friend with backyard chickens. I’m going a step further and purchasing 1/4 of a cow (I’m a red meat girl myself!) from a local farmer and friends of ours have started a free-range chicken farm. But, all that to say, we are in MO, too – so where are you exactly, and perhaps I can hook you with some of these gals…my SIL’s family has a farm in IA where the cows are actually grass-fed (our 1/4 cow was corn-fed…). It’s a whole new world out there, but I’m learning this is probably the healthier way to go for my own family, as well…

    Best wishes to you as you travel a new path to eating!
    Karin

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