Anyway, today for example he links to a column about the logistics of organic farming; I would be interested if anyone who reads this is a farmer, or has a background that would allow them to evaluate the numbers? It seems interesting to me.
Also recently, he wrote this very disturbing article about the effects of large-scale meat production. Now, Mark Bittman is no vegetarian, and neither are we. I have worked on a farm, and I have thought a lot about ethics, and I think that there is no ethical problem with being a part of a food chain in which something dies or is killed, and you eat it.
That said: lately I have been thinking a lot about our grocery store habits. We're not completely gung-ho organic, and we're certainly not going veg. But we are trying to make some changes, not only because of concern about our own and Elliot's health, but more importantly because of an attempt to live a little lighter on the world. We're lucky enough to have the resources to spend a little more on our food if we need to...I guess I see spending more on food that's raised more ethically as sort of a "vote with your money" way of making a charitable donation--rather than giving money to the Sierra Club, this year, we are buying organic milk.
Anyway, these are some of the changes we're making. I don't mean them as diagnostic, because I don't really know enough...I'm more interested in starting a conversation, if anyone is interested, on how to make easy and effective food changes. We are open to suggestions.
- We are indeed buying organic milk. I read a pretty compelling piece about how milk is a very effective thing to buy organic, not so much because organic milk is healthier, but because cows require so many resources. When you buy organic milk, you're "voting" for organic feed for those cows, too.
- We are trying to buy antibiotic free meat whenever possible. This means we go to whole foods more than we'd like, but there it is. I will say that I was recently making a recipe that involved shredding some chicken, and half of the chicken was fancy whole foods stuff, and half of it was from costco, and I COULD TOTALLY TELL, as I was shredding it, which was which. The whole foods suff was noticably moister.
- We are trying in general to eat less beef (sigh--this is hard for me) and get protein lower on the food chain.
- We are arguing a lot about the organic/local foods divide. From what I can tell, the evidence is still a little sketchy on this point.
- Other foods which we have been convinced to go organic on, from either a health or taste perspective, include: apples, sweet potatoes, and peanut butter.