It's a very dark, gloomy morning here in Brooklyn, and this has cast a greater sense of doom over an article I was just reading in the Times. Mark Bittman, he of the 100-easy-things-to-cook, has an article in today's paper about the environmental cost of eating meat.
We love meat here at WIMFD, but I've become increasingly concerned about what eating meat really means:
1. Way too many resources go into growing feed (corn, etc.) for animals.
2. Most livestock are kept in horribly unsanitary conditions, which means
3. Farmers have to pump them up with antibiotics.
4. These animals also get high doses of hormones.
5. These animals create a stunning amount of waste and we're doing a lousy job of handling it.
6. We eat way more meat than we need.
7. We eat the lion's share of meat worldwide.
8. I don't believe the FDA when they tell us those antibiotics and hormones aren't harmful to us.
Don't get me wrong; I'm not going vegetarian on you. But this does bring up a comment Luisa brought up a few weeks ago -- food should be expensive. Thanks to farm subsidies that cover the cost of feed crops, meat in America is far cheaper than it should be, at least on the face of it. Actually, we pay for those subsidies through our taxes, and we pay for the health problems that result from eating too much meat.
For these reasons, and for reasons of taste, I buy only meat, eggs, and milk from pastrure-raised animals. It costs more, yes, even at the Coop. So I buy smaller cuts of meat and stretch meat dishes by adding lots of veggies, something we need to eat more of anyway. We usually have a meatless dinner once or twice a week. (I still pay those taxes, though.)
I'm not telling you this because I think I deserve a medal. I'm telling you this because I want you to believe it's possible. Many of you already have meatless meals at least once a week. Just for today, think about buying grass-fed milk. Consider the free-range chicken. Because that cheap meat we're all so fond of -- it comes at a high price.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Posted by Adriana Velez at 10:10 AM