Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Red Pill

I finished reading this a few weeks before Clare was born and, even more than Fast Food Nation, it made me think really hard about what I eat. Jay has wanted a hobby farm for a long time, but I was surprised when I discovered that he wanted to try raising and eating our own meat. I was appalled to think that we would actually kill and eat something that had been walking around in our yard only days before. But this book really changed my mind.

Pollan shows how the products brought to our grocery stores by "big organic" may be a little better for our bodies, but not much better for our environment, than non-organic products. Eating locally is the best way to care for ourselves and our creation, and it's not terribly hard to do. So while we were patting ourselves on the back for shopping every week at our farmer's market, we realized that we need to be better about eating local, clean meat. We're not ready to put a cow in the backyard, but we'll see how we do with the chickens.

The book was great motivation to be much more thoughtful about how and what we eat.

8 comments:

Kat E said...

Well, I can certainly admire that. But I still don't want to see pictures of chicken beheadings.

I feel guilty that I have not made it to a local farmers' market this year. I suppose there's still time. When I shop for produce at the grocery store, I am appalled at where some of the things come from. The oranges are from South Africa. South Africa! I understand that we're not going to get Connecticut-grown oranges, but what happened to Florida?

Gary said...

Eating locally definitely makes a difference, and it seems to be something that is discussed more and more. Barbara Kingsolver and her family spent a year eating only local foods (exceptions for olive oil, coffee and a few other things). Her book is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and is a pretty good read so far.

Montana Dave said...

Chickens are really easy keepers, and the eggs are a big bonus, but I didn't feel like the amount of work required to slaughter one was worth it. Turkeys and geese are easier to slaughter with a higher meat/effort reward.

However, nothing gets easier than rabbit. They actually have a better food in vs. food out ratio than poultry, and they are very easy to slaughter. I can do a rabbit in about 30 minutes, from the kill to the roaster.

Just one more thing, let me warn you again about goats. They are tasty to eat, but you will be tempted to slaughter them early when they destroy your flowers, garden, shrubbery, porches, ...

Sheep are easier to handle, and you can often get a "bum lamb" from a local sheep farmer pretty cheap. Call around during lambing season (spring?) there's always a few lambs rejected by their mamas.

Orangeblossoms said...

I always feel sad about the Whole Foods dilemma.... love their (expensive) products..... but hate their practices. New Zealand Beef!? Good Lord. I need to read this book. I heard him interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR-- was riveted.

Christine said...

I've been looking at this, too (not the book, but the thoughts behind it!). I'm considering the Oklahoma food co-op. Gotta' learn how to can, too!!

Does this book have any how-to in it?

RevErikaG said...

I'm about through with the section on Corn...thanks for giving me the push I need to finish it!

Kel Bel said...

Hmm...I will have to check this book out. And I've been wanting to read the Barbara Kingsolver one for a long time.

But what I really want to know is whether I'm going to have to pluck and/or wring a chicken's neck when I come back to visit? Because that would be a great story to tell my yet-to-be-discovered DC yuppie friends about my return visits to the great state of Tennessee :)

Kel Bel said...

So...I bought this book tonight and started it on the plane ride back to DC. We'll have to discuss when I'm through!