Mini-Pledge Week 3: Meat

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I’ve enjoyed hearing everyone’s feedback about this week’s beverage pledge, which ends on Sunday. My husband and I got a kick out of the variety of comments because we heard everything from how easy this one would be to how some could only do it for a day (or not at all). Just wait until I cut out refined and artificial sweeteners all together because you know it is coming! :) And please don’t forget that the main reason we followed so many strict rules ourselves for 100 days was to motivate others and show that it can be done! So even if this week has been rough for you do not even think about giving up yet. No pressure.

Next week we are going to completely switch gears and focus on meat consumption. Before we dive right in on Monday though I want to ask (okay, beg) everyone to please watch Food, Inc. this weekend. Even if you have watched it before…watch it again! This is a very easy way to learn a lot in a mere 91 minutes of your life. And hopefully you will join us with a completely renewed perspective when it comes to eating meat. After watching the movie I’ve heard some people say they would never eat meat again (which we of course do), and others say they went out and had a Big Mac the very next day. So don’t take anyone else’s word for it…watch the movie and form your own opinion. And if for some strange reason you don’t watch it, at the very least please read my summary of the film.

So here is next week’s pledge, which officially starts on Monday…

Mini-Pledge Week 3: March 28 – April 3 – All meat consumed this week will be locally raised (within 100-miles of your hometown). Meat consumption will also be limited to 3 – 4 servings this week, and when it is eaten meat will not be presented as the “focal point” of the meal. Instead meat will be treated as a side item or simply used to help flavor a dish.

Rather than just leaving you with that I definitely want to take a few moments to explain our reasoning behind this one. And just to make sure there is no confusion we define meat as beef, turkey, chicken, pork, lamb, venison, duck, etc. There is no restriction on seafood or other animal products (like eggs and cheese) this week. So let’s break down the two parts of this pledge….

1.     Local Meat: Not only do we like to promote eating locally raised meat, but just about anything you can buy through your local farmers will be better for you and the environment. I wrote a post a while ago about how produce, on average, travels 1500 miles from the farm to your plate. Not only do those fruits and vegetables lose nutritional value during their trek, but the by-products from all of that travel also have a very negative impact on our environment. When it comes to industrialized meat, not only does the travel aspect take a toll on our environment, but the resources used to raise, feed, and slaughter the animals do as well. Secondly, the only way to truly know if the meat you are eating was humanely raised is to ask the farmer yourself. And even if the meat comes from an organic factory farm it doesn’t necessarily mean they were raised or fed properly. And the health of the animal directly affects the nutritional value that their products provide you. I know some readers have told me they simply cannot find a local source for meat products. If that is the case here is my response: try one more time (make sure you’ve exhausted all resources!), post a question about your location on my facebook page so we can ask others, or just go vegetarian this week.

 

2.     Reducing Meat Consumption: I know I’ve said it before about our society’s sugar consumption, and I’ll say it again about meat…it is way overdone. According to Mark Bittman in his book Food Matters, “60 billion animals are raised each year for food – 10 animals for every human on earth.” He also goes on to say that this rate of industrialized meat production is causing “enormous damage to the earth, including the significant acceleration of global warming.” Secondly, consuming meat at the alarming rate that it is being produced is not good for our health. Bittman says that our current rate of meat consumption has “stimulated a fundamental change in our diets that has contributed to our being overweight, even obese, and more susceptible to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and perhaps even cancer.” Michael Pollan sings a very similar tune in regards to the effects our over consumption of meat has on our health. Learn more about his viewpoint in my post about “Becoming a ‘flexitarian.’” The moral of the story is the less meat you eat the more of something else you will eat instead, and let’s hope that turns out to be vegetables and fruit.

 

Now that you understand the reasoning behind this pledge, here are some resources to help you get through the week…

Dinner recipes where meat is not the focus…

Also, almost all of the breakfast, lunch, and snack recipes I’ve posted thus far do not present meat as the focus. So if you want check out my recipe index for some inspiration.

To take the pledge: Please leave a comment below with the number of adults and kids in your household that will take this on, and also share if you will do it for one day or for the entire week. Put it in writing and make it official!

Good luck!

 

[Shared on the Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday]

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121 comments to Mini-Pledge Week 3: Meat

  • Rebecca

    Wow, I’ve made it to week three and still going strong! My husband slipped up on the 4th of July but I am giving him a pass bc it was a holiday. I actually have found that I prefer no sweetener in my coffee instead of honey or maple syrup so just cream for me from now on. Now on to week 3….. This will be our biggest challenge yet! Two reasons: first my husband loves him meat, ( he is a steak and potatoes kinda guy), second when I went to the farmers market they only carried one kind of meat and it was ground beef for 9 dollars a pound!!!!!! Is that average or high? If that is average we will probably do this pledge for one week and then just limit our consumption moving forward… We are starting this pledge today and doing it for the whole week, and we have 2 adults and a toddler in our home.

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Rebecca. Congratulations on such great progress! Costs of local meats will vary but it is more expensive. Cutting back on meat consumption is certainly not a bad thing. This link might help you find other options: http://www.eatwild.com/. Best of luck going forward! ~Amy

  • Lee Ann Green

    I survived week two!!! Which for me is probably going to be one of the most difficult! Anyhow, looking forward to starting week three tomorrow!

  • Misty Davis

    I was not prepared for this week. We are going to have to skip it. There were no option for meat at my farmers market. We do have chicken and beef from The Fresh Market that are Antibiotic-Free and fed a vegetarian-only diet with no animal by-products. We will be eating that and focusing on not making it the main dish. 2 adults and 1 baby, 6 months old

  • Ree

    So, are you saying that produce and meat, local (inorganic) is still better than organic ones from the grocery stores?

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Ree. If you can discern from your local farmer that the animals are raised, fed, and cared for humanely, then that is likely to be true. ~Amy

  • Tabitha Rayfield

    Hi, I just came across this blog a couple of days ago and I’m loving it!!! I was wondering where do you purchase your local meats? I live in a small town in South Carolina about an hour away from Charlotte. So I usually have to go there or an hour away in any direction for real food. I’m looking more so for chicken and pork. My husband owns a deer processor so we eat more venison than beef. So I definitely know where it comes from:) I will try to limit the amount we eat though! Thanks!

  • Judy

    I, like Tabitha, have been looking for someplace to get humanly raised chicken, etc. You mentioned you “ordered” your turkey- do you mind if I ask how/where? I know you mentioned the farm, but I can’t find the info. We live in NC, about 2 hours from Charlotte, but that drive is totally do-able. And do you need to order the year prior? We haven’t found anyone near us that sells poultry yet- but we have only lived in the area about 3 months! Thank you so much!!

  • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

    Hi there. This post should help: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/02/08/where-to-buy-real-food/. Beyond that, you will find many resources here http://www.eatwild.com/products/nocarolina.html. In the meantime, I’ll try to track down the specific information you were looking for. ~Amy

  • [...] (or wild caught) alternatives. Not to mention the negative impact these factory farms have on our environment and the inhumane manner in which these animals are being raised. Instead: Shop your local [...]

  • Heather

    My family of 5 is taking this pledge starting November 17th. Two adults and 3 kids. It was tough to find local meat sources, but I did it!

  • Kristen

    One adult for week three! We buy local meet anyway, so that part is covered. I eat less meat than most people, but I think having it only 3-4 days even for flavoring will be tough. Pretty sure I’ll just not order meat in a restaurant unless I know for sure where it’s from, that might be the most challenging part!

  • [...] slices of raw smoked bacon (organic and/or local bacon is [...]

  • Bre

    So I am on day 3 of exploring this website after accidental discovery via Pinterest! I am so inspired! Have not yet committed to any pledges, but as I learn more there is certainly potential for commitment! However, the problem is I have like so many others, a meat loving, soda guzzling, potato chip devouring husband! I can get him to try new veggies and grains, but meat is a non-negotiable for him at this point! There are some local farms that offer CSA boxes, Obviously veggie shares but also meat shares! I have flirted with the idea and the numbers budget wise….it’s just the two of us, my fears are as I work full time… And sometimes more, how would I handle all the time and attention a meat or veg box would require… Even a half share. Any suggestions, or can you refer meto some part of this website I have yet to discover!?

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Bre. Regarding your husband, this might help: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/07/07/convincing-a-reluctant-spouse-to-eat-real-food/. Time saving and meal prep consolidation can happen if you choose a weekend afternoon to cook a couple big recipes and throw them in the frigde/freezer for use throughout the week/s. Also, using your slow cooker can happen even while you work and you can add that to your freezer cache. Now, I am not a particularly organized person (creative type :) ), but I have found that taking the time on Sunday afternoon to plan and cook for the week, to be a giant reliever of stress. I end up wasting less, too, because many of my fresh ingredients get used immediately. Hope that helps. ~Amy

  • Kelly

    This week was an easy one for me, My parents rise chickens and my neighbor is a farmer! So I’ve been buying local meat for awhile now. The movie was an eye opener!

  • […] Week 3: Meat – All meat consumed this week will be locally raised (within 100-miles of your hometown). Meat consumption will also be limited to 3 – 4 servings this week, and when it is eaten meat will not be presented as the “focal point” of the meal. Instead meat will be treated as a side item or simply used to help flavor a dish. […]

  • Sarah Noel

    We are very lucky to have Colorado Sustainable Farms only about 15 miles away from our home. This farm is run by some friends of ours (who used to be our neighbors, then moved away to build their farm). Their website is a wealth of information on sustainable farming. Not only are their animals managed in the most natural way possible, but their prices are comparable to the local grocery store foods. They can be found at: http://www.coloradosustainablefarms.com/
    I’m going to start buying meats from them (except for seafood, of course).

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