We are having a very hard time eating meat these days.
We have been doing our Whole30 program for almost two years now. Making good food choices is beyond easy – it’s automatic. We can navigate any restaurant menu, handle any family dinner, survive a three month road trip on nothing but Whole30 fare. As we’ve got the “choices” part down, we’ve spent the last few months expanding on the concept of “eating healthy food.” The natural place for us to start was taking a good, hard look at our food quality – specifically, where our animal protein comes from. You are what you eat, quite literally, and we believe the health of the animals you eat impacts your own health in a far more direct manner than, say, the quality of your vegetables or fruits. So we’ve been reading books, watching movies, visiting farms and researching the manner in which the animals we’ve been eating are raised, fed and slaughtered.
To say it’s not a pretty picture is the understatement of this century. And as a result of what we now know, we are having a very hard time eating meat these days.
The kicker, however, is that we know animal protein sources in my diet make me healthier. We know we can’t thrive in the absence of meat on my plate. We know (heck, we preach) all of the down sides associated with conventional vegetarian protein sources, and we simply cannot justify including those in our diets in place of meat, because they will compromise our health.
Our research, and this (at first glance) insurmountable impasse, had led us to this place today. We have spent the last few months devoting our personal efforts to eating meat in a manner that makes us healthier, while being both morally and ethically defensible. And we’ll be exploring these topics on the blog over the course of the next few months, for those of you ready and willing to join the discussion.
If you’re like us – Whole30 veterans, comfortable in making good food choices and ready to expand your scope of food and health focus – we encourage you to participate. If you’re new to the site, or new to the Whole30 program, please understand that we consider this “advanced topic” material. Your only job in the coming months is to make good food choices. Transition from processed foods with empty calories to nutrient dense foods that make you healthier. Kick your Diet Coke habit once and for all. Embrace healthy fat sources and slay your sugar demons. Don’t be overwhelmed with the idea of improving your food quality – that’s not your first step towards improving your nutritional plan. But when you’re ready, we’ll be here, ready and willing to share what we know in an effort to make you healthier.
We’ll warn you up front – these discussions won’t be particularly fun. But this transcends the question of, “Do you want to know what we know?” We do, in fact, have an obligation to share these things with you. Imagine this scenario: Your local town supplies your drinking water, at a fair price. But we discover the municipal workers are peeing in your water supply on a daily basis. Every glass you drink, every glass you give your child, is tainted with urine. It probably won’t kill you… but it definitely doesn’t make you healthier. And the same people who are secretly peeing in your drinking water are charging you money to do so. Wouldn’t you want to know? As inconvenient as it may be to have to purchase all your water from an outside source… wouldn’t you make the effort?
And how mad would you be if you knew WE knew… and we didn’t tell you. Because we thought it might disturb you. Because we thought it would be easier for you if you just kept on drinking.
We promise, we won’t offer problems without solutions. We won’t throw these issues in your lap and say, “This is how things are – deal with it.” We’ve arrived at our own imperfect answers to the seemingly insurmountable problem called “factory farming.” Our answers are perhaps not the same answers at which you will arrive, but we’ll provide you with viable alternatives just the same. We’ll give you options, resources, and a forum to share your ideas with others. And we’ll lead the discussion, just as we’ve led so many others here on our site.
Please don’t write this off as “radical”, or think we’re about to go off the PETA deep end. This is NOT radical. This is simply an extension of what you, our readers, are already thinking about. You’re buying organic vegetables, you’re buying cage-free eggs, you’re searching for grass-fed beef at your local farmer’s markets. Learning more about where your food comes from isn’t a new venture for most of you, but the factory farming system is confusing territory. Cage-free, all-natural, organic, vegetarian-fed, grass-finished, humane, certified this-or-that… animal welfare, environmental costs, social burdens… and behind it all, not the friendly family farms we all picture from our childhoods, but gigantic steel-and-concrete conglomerates who will happily take your money at the expense of your health. Confusing territory on purpose, because uninformed consumers are the only consumers from which the factory farming system can profit.
We’ll help you navigate the system so you can make more informed choices about where your food comes from. And we invite you to join us, because ignorance is not an adequate defense… and to do nothing speaks your answer all the same.
Does this interest you? Make you anxious? Are you rolling your eyes, thinking we’ve gone too far? Please post any and all thoughts to comments. (And thank you to author Michael Pollan, for this article’s title.)
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