There are so many ways to nourish our bodies. We live in the country that allows us to have the opportunity to eat different foods every day. It is acceptable to eat only veggies, only fruit, meat, no meat, some meat…the list goes on and on. It also seems to be acceptable for people to judge or place some sort of value on your personal self worth or agenda if you do not eat the way they do. In the last 38 years I have learned a lot about how food nourishes my body, what foods work for me and others, and what foods might be potentially damaging. All in all it is evident that one style of eating may not work for everyone. After spending time in my life as a vegetarian, vegan and for the last 6 years primarily paleo here are a few nuggets I have learned and would love to share.
It is possible to eat meat in a sustainable, healthy, ethical way.
Eating meat does not make me inherently evil, again...see point #1 meat can be raised happy, healthy and sustainably.
Eating a vegetarian diet can be damaging to the earth as well. See this link on why meat is magnificent for a more detailed explanation. Diana Rodgers at Sustainable Dish really does go into the meat and potatoes (pun intended) of sustainable meat and farming practices.
Not everyone thrives on a vegan/vegetarian diet, and that is ok. If don’t feel amazing, energetic, and can’t sustain a healthy weight please try something different, your diet may actually be killing you.
I don’t make you feel bad about how you eat, please don’t judge me for the way I eat until you learn more about it. And even if you don’t like what you learn...don’t think it is ok to judge what I am doing to support my health.
All in all it is simple to make a statement about meat production without any consideration to what occurs when the meat is raised by a farmer, on grazing land and fed a grass fed grass finished diet. Much of the argument raised is about meat that comes from CAFOs - confined feedlot operations. In these areas they cows are fed grain that can be rancid, confined to buildings, small lots or fields, they spend a lot of their life standing in their own feces and are given antibiotics to prevent infections. This is obviously not ideal. Eating the sick meat that comes from these places is also less than ideal for many reasons as they relate to your health.
What happens when the cow grows up on a farm? They eat from a pasture that isn’t suitable for growing grain or crop anyway, they eat grass and bugs and enjoy the elements everyday. They provide health to the soil by pooping and pounding it back into the grounds to providing nutrients for the earth and bugs. Check out this link to Polyface Farms and learn a little about this process from the man himself, Joel Salatin.
Here are some tips from us at Rebel Health to start you on your way to eating sustainable, happy, healthy meat (if that’s your jam).
Know your farmer!
Eat quality protein sources
Shop at farmers markets or food Co Ops
Sign up with a local CSA for veggies and fruit
Eat locally raised foods
Buy in bulk. No really buy an ⅛ ¼ or ½ beef and it will last you plus you get some great nutrients.
Look for sales! Even we like good deals on quality meat in our house.
Please dig into this subject more if it at all interests you. Here are a few resources for your reading pleasure.
Modern Farm Girls Podcast found at RealFoodLiz.com
That is just a few to get you started. Have Fun! And Happy Eating!