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Beef's Final Hurrah

Today I ate the last three tacos with the taco meat we cooked last Tuesday. Those red blobs are Dave's Insanity Sauce, btw. SO HOT but so good. Plus chipotle seasoning. Mmmmmm.

IMAG4784.jpg

Last night I watched Before the Flood, a documentary by National Geographic and Leonardo DiCaprio regarding global climate change. It's free to view in-full online for the next couple of days, so if you get a chance, I highly recommend it. I thought it was going to be boring, but instead, it was very well done. And eye-opening.



I was left with the feeling that we had to do something. Neither Buu nor I drive much, and even an electric car would still be powered by fossil fuel (at least, for now). We don't use a lot of power - we keep our air conditioning set around 77, we rarely turn on lights (even if we're in the room), our computers go into sleep mode after 20-60 minutes of inactivity.

But still, the reality of climate change is pretty horrifying. So I want to do something, no matter how small. Our decisions in purchasing are what helps fuel (no pun intended) the catastrophic pillaging of the natural environment.

So with the end of our Tacos, Buu and I will attempt to go the next year without eating beef. It's a small thing, but it can make a difference. 70% of the land used in the US for food production goes to beef. Chicken has 1/10th of the environmental impact of beef. (Dairy isn't included in "beef" btw.) Some have said that swapping from beef to chicken would be more environmentally significant than abandoning fossil-fuel burning cars. We're also going to avoid products that use "palm oil" - since so much of Indonesia's jungle is being burned down to make room for palm oil plantations.

I know that the impact our one household can have on the greater whole isn't much. And maybe there will be more benefit to our health than to the environment. Or maybe these decisions won't have any impact on anything at all.

But we have to try.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
nambroth
Nov. 3rd, 2016 12:17 am (UTC)
We only get beef that is locally farmed and raised on pasture in small herds. Though I rarely eat chicken anymore, one can also get "pastured" chicken, though chickens really do need some feed supplementation (unlike beef cows on healthy pasture). The idea is less meat, and the meat that you partake of can have very little to no "footprint" if sourced carefully! It's also less likely to have had a wretched, suffering life, if you can visit the farm and see yourself how it's been raised.
(I also eat venison, but that's a different ballgame!)
kwsapphire
Nov. 3rd, 2016 04:32 am (UTC)
We looked into getting local grass-fed beef, but we can only buy it by the quarter-cow (at minimum). So we'd have to get a chest-freezer, and we don't have anywhere to put something like that. We only have a small one-car garage with no room for a freezer. We also tried to buy local humane eggs, but our source stopped selling. We still buy supposedly "certified humane" eggs, but they're certainly not local so we can't check it out. If there were any game around here that I could hunt, we'd definitely look at that too. Unfortunately we're deep in suburbia; I'd have to drive 4-10 hours to get to any real hunting grounds. I don't think it's realistic to try to cut meat from our diet entirely, but I figured, cutting out beef was at least a do-able first step. We'll have to try to move forward from here.
nambroth
Nov. 3rd, 2016 02:03 pm (UTC)
That's a bummer! That's too bad, I hope some more local farmers market type things pop up for you soon. They seem to focus on suburban areas- or, at least, that is my limited experience. I also had to buy a quarter cow at a time until recently, when a local farm started selling meat by the cut at our tiny teeny farmer's market. It is cheaper for me to buy a quarter or half beef at a time, but as you noted, storage is an issue! The highland cows I was getting are much smaller than a standard angus or other common beef cow, so I could fit my quarter cow in the smallest chest freezer we could find.

Is this site helpful at all for you?
http://www.localharvest.org

And I wasn't suggesting you go hunting, I know that is not realistic for most people! I was just explaining where most of our red meat comes from.
kwsapphire
Nov. 3rd, 2016 04:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the link! It looks like there's a downtown market on Friday nights that I should check out, though I'm not sure what all will be offered. I was previously a member of a CSA located in Tampa proper, but that was a two hour round trip every two weeks, and then I had to spend 4-8 hours washing and drying everything. After a couple years of that, I found a much more local CSA and joined there. However they're now in recess for this harvest year (Oct-Oct), because the owner has taken on more responsibility at his job and can no longer keep up with the shares. I fully intend to re-enroll when they come back out of recess, but they never supplied more than a small percent of our produce anyway. So I'll definitely go check out the local market tomorrow and see what it's about. Thanks again!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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