Let me tell you my evolving journey of food choices in the past decade or so. This is nothing dramatic, in fact, you’ll most likely hear many similar stories being told by many others out there. About 9 years ago, we switched from regular milk to organic milk. It really disturbed me that the milk my toddler daughter was drinking was injected with growth hormones; as a result of that we began switching all our dairies to organic products. I gradually started to check what other products are laced with undesirable chemicals, and we started to buy and eat more organic foods. We don’t merely just buy all organics, there are some produces which absorb pesticides more than the other, so we make conscious choices. We also factor in which ingredients were used with GM (genetically engineered ) products. In the early 2000’s, Steve (my husband ) and I watched “Super Size Me” – a documentary where Morgan Spurlock only eats McDonald’s foods for 30 days. Gut wrenching is putting things mildly of what I felt after watching the film. Then around the same time, I read “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser; it is an investigative look into food industries which provide all of our fast food and supermarket foods. Reading about the unsafe and toxic condition in mass industrial farming where our meats come from, the treatments of these animals, treatment of the workers, etc, pretty much sealed my conviction of not wanting to support nor eat any of their food products. After few years of reading and watching these, I became lax with what I bought at the supermarket. I still made efforts to go to the WholeFoods, Trader Joe’s and local farmer’s market, but I realized I was becoming more lazy and just buying things just because they were on sale. More recently, the documentary film “Food Inc” reminded me of my original conviction and here I am making my way back into “healthier” eating lifestyle.
I believe in supporting organic and sustainable farming practices (including livestocks). I love the idea of buying and eating locally grown products! The past few years, in our stamp size front yard, we’ve made efforts to grow different veggies, ie. Asian cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and herbs. Just being able to step into our yard and plucking and harvesting fresh veggies just make me feel really really good! We have been weaning ourselves from meat, and to be honest with you, the cravings for meat has significantly decreased. We allow ourselves to eat meat once in a while. In this way, we make sure to buy only organic meats (which I think are quite pricey) and not indulge in meat orgy:-) We still do eat dairies and sometimes fish. However, fishing industries are suffering with pollutants etc, so we only eat fish once in a while also.
I have chosen “Simple Suppers”, one of the cookbook from Moosewood restaurant (vegetarian restaurant located in downtown Ithaca, NY) to guide me into cooking more variety of vegetarian dishes. My family and I are looking forward to this and I hope to be honest with our journey progresses (both good and bad).
Obviously, due to other family obligations etc, we will not be able to eat vegetarian 365 days, but I will count myself lucky and successful if I can at least cook vegetarian in my own kitchen:-)
Revised: November 9, 2011:
I should have revised earlier, didn’t really think about it. So, our one year vegetarian lifestyle has ended a little while ago. As you can see from my recent recipes, we are back to eating meat. Although I do have to say we are eating less meat than before, and we truly make conscious decision to buy organic meat (if we do eat meat). I still incorporate lots of vegetables in our meals, especially trying to choose vegetables with bright colors, ie. red, orange, purple and green; since these are packed with great nutrients!! I do have to say my children have learned to appreciate (I didn’t say “like”) vegetables they used to “hate” before, such as beets, escarole, and kale (and other leafy greens) through this vegetarian journey. For that, I am eternally thankful!!