I explained briefly before why I chose to eat a meat-free meal at least once a week. I recently discovered a website that explains the benefits way better than I could. Personally, I started it because I wanted to be a more conscious consumer (about the impact on my health and the environment). I don't have any intention of cutting meat out of my diet completely. Nor have I made a complete switch to all organic, local foods. But I do want to be more aware of the consequences of my actions and that includes what I choose to eat. Our food is what sustains us. It is the basis of our existence and what provides us with the energy to do all of the things we do in our lives. Little by little, I am incorporating better consumer practices into my life, starting in the kitchen. It's not a major over-haul, but if each of us took one little step, think of the impact it would make overall.
For more on the benefits of eating a meat-free meal every week, check out MeatlessMonday.com. The site has tons of resources, articles, recipes, and more.
Another resource that changed the way I look at food and the things I consume is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Kingsolver is one of my favorite authors, and I recently read her book on being a locavore for a year. Her family's experience changed the way I view food and inspired me to start my urban garden. The book was a little bit slow to get into, with lots of facts and scientific background at first, but past the first couple chapters, I couldn't put the book down. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in food, gardening, farming, agriculture, the environment, cooking, etc . . . .
For more info on her book, please visit AnimalVegetableMiracle.com.
Note: I'll admit, when I first started thinking about all these changes, I balked at what it entailed. I envisioned wiping my pantry out and starting fresh. I cringed at the increase in our grocery budget if we switched entirely to organic local foods. I am NOT doing that. While I have switched to almost 100% organic produce, and we are buying a local, farm-raised cow this summer, I still buy Stove Top stuffing and factory-farmed chickens when they are on sale. Baby steps, people, baby steps.