Monday, July 30, 2007

In a name

Many of you already know where I got the name for my blog, but for the rest of you...

This past winter I finally took E's suggestion and read Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. This book is one of a small number of (non-fiction) books to change the way I think about the world. Pollan traces the food we eat back to the industrial farms it comes from and opens our eyes to what it is we're really consuming. He discusses the history of agribusiness, explains how corn has come to be in almost every processed food we buy in the grocery store, describes the life of a cow that is being raised to provide meat, and tells the disturbing tale of where our eggs come from. He isn't promoting stores like Whole Foods, rather, he is encouraging us to reaquaint ourselves with the food we put in our bodies and, if at all possible, to develop a relationship with the farmer who grows our fruits and vegetables.

Pollan's thesis made so much sense to me, but what could I do about it? I don't live in California or in another state or country with a long growing season. I live in a heavily populated state where one city flows into another. Where was I supposed to find these farmers? Where was I supposed to find grass fed beef? Or chickens that were free to roam and peck and eat grubs and grass?

It took a lot of work, but I did finally find a local farm to provide me with these things, and this past Saturday I drove the hour and a half to pick up my broilers. The farmer had offered to get them to me a different way, but I was interested in visiting the farm; I wanted to see the chickens and the cows for myself. Well, here is one of my future meals:


And another:


I'm thrilled that I've been able to track down a farmer who raises my food humanely. I know my chickens aren't packed a dozen into a tiny cage, I know the hens who lay my eggs aren't tortured to do so, I know my cows aren't standing knee deep in excrement. I know they don't need to be shot up with antibiotics.

I'm sorry this post has been a bit preachy, but please, read The Omnivore's Dilemma when you have the chance, or another book like it, and educate yourselves so you can make informed decisions at the grocery store.


E said...

hey, nice broilers, there! now, about that dinner invite... :)

Anonymous said...

I want a chicken. In our yard. We have chickens at my Mom's. They give us eggs. We eat the eggs. Eggs are GOOD. But then we are sad about eating the chickens. So we don't eat them. Which is good, because by the time they stop laying eggs, they are tough old birds. Literally. All the chickens at my Mom's house are named "Lupita". Now we refer to them as "The Lupitas". Hee hee.

LibraryChristi said...

I loved that book! I now always check ingredient labels for corn ;)