Back in March there was much media attention about what has been termed “pink slime”, an industrial slurry of beef scraps and connective tissue that is mixed into ground beef products. This “slime”, as well as other beef products, is treated with ammonia hydroxide to remove E. coli and Salmonella. As a result all across town you can find signs in stores assuring consumers that their meat does not contain “pink slime”. Around the same time I finished reading Food Revolution by John Robbins. A good read however I knew adopting a vegetarian diet was not going to work for my family. I can’t even imagine the mutiny I’d have on my hands if I tried to take away taco Sundays. Instead I recommitted to having a least two meatless days a week in our home. I also became vigilant, okay obsessed, about the quality of beef and poultry I do feed my family. I also committed to buying local chicken and grass fed beef.
And then I picked up another Practically Green recommendation The Conscious Kitchen by Alexandra Zissu and I can’t recommend this book highly enough! I initially borrowed it from the library but before I was finished I purchased a copy of my own to tag and highlight. It’s home is currently in my bag and it gets pulled out often while I’m shopping. As I read Lexy’s book I started asking questions…
I soon found out the local grass fed beef I so confidently purchased was not 100% grass fed but instead grain finished. And although the chicken I was confidently feeding my family was locally sourced, raised free range without the use of artificial growth hormones or antibiotics, it was given GMO corn and soy feed. Even though they were free range they were not encouraged to feed as they organically and naturally would do so. As I read the book I realized there were so many questions I didn’t realize needed asking. I once again found myself overwhelmed and discouraged. At the same time I needed to reminded myself there was so much I was already doing. To name a few, we abandon the supermarket as soon as the farming season hits New England where we live, we’re members of a CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) and I’ve gradually scaled back purchasing processed snacks instead opting to make my own. So in those moments of feeling defeated I sit, close my eyes, take a few deep breaths and feel all that we do incorporate into our daily lives that’s not only nourishing us as a family but the Earth as well. And then I surround my kids in light for all that I haven’t been able to do.
And while the local search continues for truly 100% grass fed beef and non-GMO poultry I’ll continue to scale back. And for those must have meat meals it’s off to Whole Foods for now.