How We Feel about Meat

Before I dive into this post I want to ask you to please watch Food, Inc.. 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.

Now I’m going to break down our thoughts about meat into two parts…

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 it was raised or fed properly. And the health of the animal directly affects the nutritional value that their products provide you.

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.

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132 thoughts on “How We Feel about Meat”

  1. Also watch forks over knives movie. I am following a plant based diet and have cured my allergy issues. I am losing weight and has helped my joint pain.

  2. We are lucky enough to eat wild game that we harvest ourselves. It is much leaner than store bought meat & I think a necessary component of our diet (esp iron). We eat it almost daily & have cut out processed foods & refined sugar & minimize grains with great results in improving how we feel & getting to healthy weight. I would not consider reducing our intake.

  3. I lost 90 pounds over 18 months by cutting out the majority of processed foods and lowering my carb intake. I ate lots of veggies and fruit, and meat, to make me feel satisfied and full. We would like to cut our meat consumption, but can’t up grains much as it raises my blood sugar. How do you feel full and not feel like you’re starving 2 hours later with little or no meat?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Shannon. You can add things like nuts, seeds, and beans as well as healthy fats. Avocados are a good example of a healthy fat.

  4. So, I love the idea of cutting down meat and I was starting to do this until a couple of years ago when I discovered I have some food sensitivities (allergies) that needed attention (dairy, eggs and gluten). So, I went back to eating primarily meat and vegetables, which makes it hard to cut down on meat. I was under the impression that a lot of the diseases like cancer and heart diseases and other illnesses were contributed to by eating conventional meat (raised on antibiotics, etc). Are you saying that regardless of where your meat comes from (we strive for local, grass-fed, antibiotic free, etc), there is a greater risk of illness if you are eating meats, especially red?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Angie. While buying local, organic, grass-fed etc. makes your meat consumption smarter and better for you as well as more sustainable, it is still a very good idea to have meat be the smallest portion of your meal. The rule in our family, if serving meat, is that 3/4 of the plate be veggie/salad/fruit and a bit of whole grain (quinoa, brown rice, etc). This article might shed a bit of light: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4698595/.

  5. I had no idea that I’m a flexitarian until I read this! I just thought I was someone who doesn’t eat meat every day, but isn’t willing to give up Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas prime rib, and the occasional other meat dish.

  6. I went Meat Free after watching Forks Over Knives and then Food Inc. It’s extreme, but I didn’t even want to do the “healthy” meats….the result…..my glucose readings came down to normal after eliminating all animal products :-)

  7. We are a family of 4. Two adults, 2 children. I plan on doing this for the week. We are “flexatarians” so hopefully this won’t be too hard.

  8. Can we eat fish on week three in addition to meat or is it all under the same umbrella? I live by the coast and so have local caught fish always to hand. My husband likes meat or fish at each meal, trying to plan ahead :)

  9. 2 adults starting this week! My husband works for a local meat producer so we usually only eat local meat anyways. :)

  10. I’m turned off of food documentaries since the last time I watched one. I can’t remember the title right now, but it covered a range of topics, including a section on MSG.

    Don’t get me wrong; I’m no fan of MSG and I try not to eat it. But this documentary made it abundantly clear how biased the “whole foods movement” can be. A segment talked about lab rats, and how in order to make lab rats and mice obese for trials, they give them MSG. Well, I looked up the information for myself and it’s not that straightforward. MSG is injected under the skin of mice/rats in large quantities when they are very young to make them obese, not fed to them in seasoning quantities as the documentary was implying. There are countries that use MSG as a regular table seasoning the way we use salt in North America, and they don’t have higher incidence of obesity, cancer, or other hot-topic health problems.

    Again, I don’t like the idea of MSG and I avoid it whenever possible. And I’m here on this site because I prefer to eat real foods and avoid synthetic and highly processed ingredients. But this just goes to show how documentaries can go overboard to the point of spreading misinformation in order to start hype and gain viewers.

  11. 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).

  12. 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!

  13. 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!?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Bre. Regarding your husband, this might help: https://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

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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!!

  17. 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!

    1. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

    1. 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

  21. I love the concept behind all of this but I live in rural Texas, where our grocery store is Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart. Our store does carry Harvestland Organic Chicken…any opinions on this? Thanks!

  22. Thanks for your awesome website.I’m one of your fans.
    I have a question.(similar to Erin’s)
    where i can find organic meat in bellingham with good price(we live in vancouver and usually buy chicken and ground beef from costco in bellingham that’s more affordable than vancouver)

  23. I”m new as well and also in the Charlotte area. I had the same question as Erin.
    I may be overlooking it but do you list local places to purchase meat & diary goods?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Jessica. Our milk is from Lakeview Farms. They offer a home delivery service (http://www.lakeviewfarmshomedelivery.com/), but, they also sell their milk in Earthfare and Whole Foods. Local meats, fruits and veggies are mostly purchased at Farmer’s Markets. There are quite a few in the Charlotte area…check out this article that lists a few…http://charlotte.cbslocal.com/guide/a-guide-to-charlotte-area-farmers-markets/. You can also find local sources for meat here…http://www.eatwild.com/. Hope this helps…good luck. ~Amy

  24. I am a newbie at all of this. I have a question. I live in Charlotte too (I would love to pick your brain.lol) where do you buy your local meats? And how do you know if it is? Will it say it somewhere? ( that may be a dumb question :))

  25. My question is where should I get my protein from? I workout and lift weights and I’m just used to making sure I have a protein at every meal.

      1. Thanks for the article. It will be hard to change my frame of thinking but when I’m not training for an event or competition I will work on this :) I do count eggs and beans as my protein at meals and I do not count grams just serving sizes. However I definitely feel better about not giving my kids meat at every meal.

  26. Week two (beverages) was a breeze for me. I mainly drink water throughout the day anyway so it was a very easy week. One year ago, my whole family and I have been “addicted” to crystal lite iced tea for a long long time. Last January I researched how horrible artificial sweeteners were for you and I stopped drinking crystal lite cold turkey. And I honestly felt much better…and still do until this day. Yes, I have had an occasional diet coke here and there, but I have found other alternatives, like seltzer water with a squeeze of lemon. It is so much better this way!

    Now onto the next weekly pledge of meat. This is going to be a challenge to find a local farmer’s market that is nearby as I live on Long Island, NY. I purchased chicken breast from Wild By Nature, I know it is probably not from within 100 miles…but I really do not know where to go. I figured it is the closest and it does say “grass-fed, no hormones or antibiotics”. I will be researching this more. I am going to begin with consuming meat only 3-4 servings per week. I will continue this pledge while I find a place that is 100% suitable for this pledge. I will have no problem with consuming the amount given for this pledge as I have given up meat for periods of time in the past. Let’s see how it goes!! :)

  27. Jumping in to this pledge tomorrow. Though the husband is willing on this one (unlike last week when he refused to say goodbye to his precious Dr. Pepper), I think I’m going to have him sit this one out so our meat-filled leftovers won’t be wasted. Maybe that’s illogical, but I can’t STAND wasting good food, and at the same time, I don’t want to lose my momentum here. Thanks for your website and these mini-pledges. They’re perfect for my frantic lifestyle as I try to make the gradual shift to real foods.

  28. I’m still in the middle of week 2’s challenge, but this one worries me a little because I’m not 100% sure if our meat is local. We do buy it from a butcher, so it can’t be from THAT far away, can it?

    I may just do the thing to make meat a side dish or very small component for the week because we just bought a freezer full of meat last month before starting these challenges, and my husband won’t let me buy more when we’re already stuffed with it.

    I am doing research on places to source meat from actual farms, however, so I’m hoping I can get him on board with that idea. I love supporting local farms, and they’re really starting to shrink in this country.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Sile. I would think you could probably just ask your butcher where the meat comes from. Jill

  29. Last week’s beverage challenge went well. Not too difficult as most of the time I drink water. Looking forward to continuing the first two challenges as I tackle this new meat challenge. Luckily, my local Whole Foods sells locally raised meats, so that helps; however, it will still be difficult since I eat out a lot during the week. Again, it’ll be one adult for this challenge during the week of 10/1-10/7.

  30. Week 2, “beverages”, challenge is done tomorrow. Another successful week. It’s tricky with my son and his sports. I don’t have control over Capri Suns and things like that other parents bring for after-game-snacks. Moving on to “Week 3” challenge. This may be harder, specially long term. I did find where to purchase local meat somewhat near me – somehow need to get over the prices!. The farmers market where I live is downtown about 20-minute drive away from home. I live in a football college town so on game days it is just not worth driving there with all the craziness. I needed to find alternatives. I have been thinking about reducing meat consumption anyways so perfect timing for this challenge.

  31. We attempted this challenge this week and it has definitely been the most difficult one for us thus far. I never made it to the butcher shop that sells local meat, so we mostly ate vegetarian, including trying vegetarian Borchst at a Ukranian restaurant with my book club. It was quite yummy! The most difficult aspect was skipping lunch meat, since “real” deli meats are usually out of our budget. My son discovered that he loves cream cheese sandwiches!

  32. 2 adults. We are starting this pledge tommorrow! I have found some local meat for dinner, but I’m afraid this week will be one of the hardest for my husband. He eats out almost every day for lunch, so finding restaurants that serve local meat will be tough. However, I’m a vegetarian, so this week will be the easiest for me! :) I made your tomato bisque tonight for dinner and it was delicious! (minus meat and switched chicken stock to vegetable stock) I will definitely be keeping this as a staple in my kitchen!

  33. Last week’s pledge overall was a success for us, but then my kids and I don’t really drink a lot of juices and soda…hubby, he’s going to have to take baby steps. As with previous week’s pledges, we will start on Wednesday and continue to the following Tuesday as I need to organize our freezer. As for eating locally grown meat, we may instead stick to eating only from what is left in our freezer as to make room for local meats in the next few weeks. However, as we live by the Gulf Coast, seafood will be our focus this week. One adult, three children (4,3, and 2) for all meals and hubby will participate during dinner. We are still currently looking for affordable local meat, so here’s to me being successful! :)

  34. I will be doing this rather difficult task from today until Saturday. Heading to a local market to hopefully find some local meat.

  35. Just finished this challenge…we have neighbors whose parents own a chicken farm-local chicken and eggs have been pretty easy to come by! Gave up the deli meat and Subway too. Made your fajitas (with the homemade tortillas!). I can’t believe we made them without meat and didn’t mind one bit! We are loving this new way of eating…but it IS a lot of cooking and planning (and dishes!)

  36. Only on week one but scanning ahead.. I live around Cherry Hill NJ, any idea on where I can get local meat? Starting early so I can follow through!

  37. 1 adult. Starting this meat mini pledge today! I will probably end up mostly meatless throughout the week until I get to the farmer’s market. Your recommendation to watch Food Inc. before was a great source of motivation to take this pledge!

  38. I started this challenge on Sunday… but missed the farmer’s market Saturday because I wad out of town. we don’t have any of the chain health food stores and our local ones only seem to have beef. unintentionally this week has kind of become a vegetarian week. oops.

  39. We’re taking on these challenges from ALASKA! Really, really hard up here. Especially in the winter. Costco is our biggest friend during the winter. In the summer we have a couple of farmers market. We’ll be calling the local meat companies for “local” meat…it might be more than 100 miles away though. Not many “locals” around here. :) However, we’ll just be limiting our consumption of meat altogether and “upping” our veggies!
    Thanks!!

  40. We are a family of 4 Mom, Dad, Daughter (11) and Daughter (18mos.) I forgot to comment for last weeks pledge but we did great with the beverages! Now on to the meat week. I was nervous about this at the beginning of the challenge but we watched “forks over knives” and “fat sick and nearly dead” last week and we started this week early! I don’t miss the meat at all and I feel so much more energy. We also got a food processor, bread maker and a juicer. We all have been enjoying fresh juice and my husband has been enjoying experimenting with making bread.

  41. Oh gosh I’m going to have to pass on the meat pledge. We are farmers (organic) and I just cleaned out and did inventory of our main freezer (90% meat)so I can fit the last 7 of our grass fed chickens into it. There are still 4 turkeys out there that we need to fit in it. So eating meat at this time of year is best for my family. Also like every year the chickens have quit laying eggs for at least a month. We don’t eat a lot of meat, maybe 4-6oz per adult/teenager a day but that much does help to keep the inventory fresh. At least it will be all locally raised within 100 ft. of the house,haha.

  42. This is going to be a do-over week for us. Same as the previous post, 1 adult, 3 children for all three meals, second adult for 1 meal. Still looking for organic and local meat suppliers that I can build a relationship with.

  43. I’m currious how you fit local meats into a limited budget. Where I live local meats are $5+ a pound where as the store brand (or even the organic brands at Costco) are half to a third that price. Our grocery budget is $160 for two weeks, and that includes all our food, paper goods, pet foods and supplies, and the like, so really it’s more like $80 – $100 for just food for 2 weeks, so even if I only include 6 meals where meat is included, feeding a family of three, that’s 4 to 5 pounds of meat (figureing 4oz of meat per person per serving), at $5 a pound that’s more than a quarter of our food budget, for less than a quarter of our meals. The idea is very cost prohibitive in my mind, so I’m just looking for suggestions or help. I like the idea but have never been able to wrap my mind around it enough to try and fource something else into our budget. Thanks!

    1. 100 Days of Real Food

      We just eat a lot less meat…that’s how we make it work. It is better for us and the environment (and our budget) to eat meat in moderation. Treat it as a side dish or use it to flavor a meal. We sometimes only have meat once or twice a week. I hope that helps!

  44. We will have 3 children and 1 adult for all three meals and I will add my husband for dinner but we will have to start on Tuesday since we will still be on vacation (on the road Monday). Like one of the readers, the local meat will have to wait because I too just bought some frozen organic chicken from Costco and I refuse to let that go to waste. But I can substitute with fresh seafood and head out to the one of the organic farms near Houston that Thursday or on the following weekend. Beverages pledge was a little hard but the last three days have been coca-cola free. I wound up drinking lemonade on Monday for my migraine but did wind up having 1 glass of sweetened tea yesterday but today has bee water or milk. Thank goodness the kids are not soft drink drinkers.

  45. There are no places in our area for me to buy fresh chicken, beef or pork. I like in southern louisiana near new orleans so i do have access to fresh seafood. I’m not sure substituting seafood for all meat would be a good idea. When i do buy beef or chicken at the store i do make sure it is grass fed, hormone free meat. We also do not have a fresh market or any other health food store in our area. We do have a local grocery store that has a large organic/gluten-free section so i can buy certain organic items just not meat.

  46. I love to eat pulses instead of meat :P It’s a great way to get your protein. And they’re so fun to eat!! I especially love chickpeas and haricot beans ;)

  47. I hate to be a downer, but the issue with most “local, ethically raised” meat is that the animals are slaughtered and processed at the same large facilities that factory-farmed animals go through, due to USDA regulations. This means that the live animals are shipped considerable distances in often overcrowded, inhumane conditions, and experience the same horrific and meat-contaminating slaughter process, regardless of how good their lives were up until they were herded onto the trailer.

    It’s much simpler to just take a vegetarian diet for a spin–these days there are so many healthy, flavorful, easily accessible options! My favorite blog for family-friendly veg recipes is peasandthankyou.com. I also highly recommend checking out Kathy Freston’s book “Veganist”–she’s gotten a lot of buzz lately for a reason!

  48. watching Food Inc as we speak and honestly feel vomitous (sorry!). Its heartbreaking- I’ve been scavenging your website for good ideas and recipes- feel a little late to the party, but glad to be here :)

  49. Our family is already vegetarian~ so this will be easy! 2 adults and 3 kids. I do have a issue though…we have dogs and cats~ any solutions for what do do with their food?

  50. I agree that buying meat locally is best – I absolutely love the grass-fed beef from my local farmer’s market. I’ve also gotten some great chicken there as well.
    But from a health standpoint, meat is not as bad as it’s been made out to be. I love ‘Food, Inc.’ – it’s the number #1 documentary that I recommend when I introduce people to eating organically. But also watch the documentary ‘Fat Head.’ You’ll learn A LOT about meat, grains, the food pyramid, and what the government has to do with food. Both films are available to watch instantly on Netflix, so if you’re going to watch ‘Food, Inc.’ there’s no reason to not watch ‘Fat Head’ as well. :)

    1. So thankful to read this comment amidst all the others. Nourishing Traditions is a wealth of information that proves “The China Study” is a bunch of baloney. Meat is GOOD for the human body. We need fat for our muscles, which include the heart and brain. :)
      Thank you for noting that meat, ethically raised, is not bad. :)

  51. our family of five gets grass-fed beef from a local farmer and will soon be getting a hog and possibly some free range chickens from him also. i’m excited that we will be able to finally eat the majority of our meat from a local source. that said, we will do well with only beef and vegetable dishes this week except for friday…i’ve already planned on corned beef and cabbage since we wait for it to go on sale after st. pat’s day =)

  52. I am in this week (1 adult). I have been trying to reduce my meat intake in order to reduce my cholesterol. And I’ve been trying to buy healthier meat/fish alternatives (more local, wild caught fish, etc.) It’s been difficult trying to get my family on board. Mainly because of the kids. My son is very much a meat eater and my daughter is very picky. Hubby will eat whatever I fix:) So, this is a good challenge for me this week. It will force me to be more proactive in searching for local meats and more vegetarian dishes to fix.

  53. The Bohanan family is in! Actually we’re cheating b/c we do this already. But hey, we’d like to join the crowd! Luckily in OK we have a Farmer’s Coop which makes buying local meat products simple. BUT because they are so expensive, we’ve already gotten used to only using meat once or twice a week. But I do need you to post that pork carnita taco recipe post haste!! Just thawed out the pork tenderloin I got from a local farmer and am ready to get cooking!

  54. This one will be hard….I LOVE meat! Forget cake or cookies, I’d rather have meat! However, I recently took out the Food, Inc. video from the library for viewing and it has really made me think about where I get my meat. To this end, I am sourcing out local butchers. I have only found one so far and the price of the meat is astronomical compared to grocery store prices! I totally understand the reason, but it sure hurts the pocketbook! I guess it will give me an incentive to serve a maximum 3-4 meals containing local meat this week! I have found a place to buy local eggs and they are absolutely delicious! I really can’t believe the difference! They will be featured prominently in my menu from now on. Have a good week everyone!

  55. Wow. This is a little harder than last week. My first thought was “Well, I’m done. I can’t do that.” Then I found myself googling local meat in my area and there are a ton of local farmers selling all kinds of meat. Then I saw the prices and again was ready to give up. Then I remembered the other part of the challenge was to have a lot less meat. I can’t picture us abiding by this rule all week but I will pledge to go buy some local meat for the first time (if possible, our farmers markets aren’t open yet)and to come up with menus that limit the meat intake to 3-4 times a week.

    1. 100 Days of Real Food

      I am so glad this is getting people to think! Even if you change 1 or 2 meals (instead of the whole week) that would be better than nothing!

    2. Yes, I think reducing meat consumption overall helps balance out the premium cost associated with local, ethically-raised meat. I actually punched some numbers a little while back, estimating how much the average person eating a conservative amount of meat per day (deli meat at lunch + 4 oz of animal protein at dinner)spends on conventional cheap cuts of meat per month compared with how much I spend per month on local and/or ethically-raised meat, eating only about 8-10 oz per week. I still come out way cheaper than the conservative norm!

  56. Myself, hubby and daughter will be in for the week. We have our own chickens in the freezer, along with some venison and local ground beef, so we should be good to go.

  57. 1 adult, 2 kids, 1/2 of a husband (not sure what he’ll sneak at lunch). I’ll try for the whoe week. did you post the recipe for the brownies pictured?

    1. 100 Days of Real Food

      The pictured brownies were full of white flour and sugar (i.e. not real food!) so I won’t be posting the recipe. That was one of our special weekend treats that we’ve been making with the girls. Moderation is key!

  58. Sorry I couldnt do it last week! Sugar/creamer in my coffee and diet soda is literally keeping me sane right now as my job is sooooo stressful this time of year! I will try it in a month or two when things settle down! For this week I (1 adult) am in all meals everyday. Hubby and 2yo son will have only local meat 2 times a day. I know it sounds like a lot but meat has not been the focal point in our meals for years. Local meat includes ground beef (my uncle raised 50 miles away), ground venisen (my hubby hunted and butchered 15 miles away), walleye and perch fish (my hubby caught 15 miles away). I will try to sneak in one meatless dinner once this week but have to have a backup meat to add when after 2 bites my hubby inspects the dish for meat and asks if there is any!

  59. 2 adults this week. I am blessed to be able to buy local beef, chicken, pork, eggs and milk. I am still drinking my coffee with homemade vanilla creamer and my water with lemon slices. It went better today. :)

  60. I didn’t think meat would be an issue for my family, because we’ve already downsized the amount of meat we eat. But it’s not local. We’ve considered buying a quarter cow from a local farmer… but we really just don’t need that much. Even though it’s cheaper – we rarely eat red meat. What I need is local chicken! It has occured to me, and I think I will call this week – some of the smaller butchers around town to see if thier meat is locally attained.

    Thanks for the mini pledges! I love how you keep coming up with new ideas and way to talk about things!

  61. Sadly, I can’t do the whole pledge, b/c I already have all my meat and much of it isn’t local. Other than the local part though I am in, I never really liked meat much anyway! 1 adult.

  62. I’m vegan, so I guess I’m in by default. Just me though, I doubt my family would even consider it. *sigh* :)

  63. Watching Food Inc. is such a life-changer! We watched it over a year ago and have been on quite the food “makeover” ever since. The last book I read is titled, “The China Study”…even more eye-opening on the effects of meat protein than Food Inc. Watch for the documentary version titled “Forks Over Knives” debuting in May.

  64. I became a vegetarian about 6 months ago after doing a little reading (Food Inc, China Study, Food Revolution, Etc.) . I know your family eats meat. I do not think that eating meat is wrong, I live in Dallas and it is not super easy or cost efficient to get good meat. For me, cutting meat made more sense.

    Many people react as thought they would starve to death without meat at every meal. I find my current way of eating to be very satisfying. I am sure this challenge will be and tough and touchy one with people. It will be interesting to see if fewer people choose to participate.

    (PS I’d eat meat in a heartbeat if it were part of a cultural experience, such as being in Germany last summer.)

  65. You must be reading my mind. We just bought into a CSA and I was thinking meat too. I am so glad that this is the challenge of the week. I know it will be hard because I love my meat but I am looking forward to doing it.

  66. I watched Food Inc a few days ago, and it totally changes how you look at your store’s meat department! I found a local farm just yesterday, and will be buying most of my meat there from now on (grass fed beef, grass and whey fed pork, and pastured poultry). However, I shop in four week cycles and last week I had bought my meat for this week and the next three weeks at Meijer and Costco (though it is all organic), so I won’t be able to participate in this challenge. I just can’t throw out the pounds of chicken, beef, and pork, I already bought. But, when I start my next menu/grocery cycle in three weeks I’ll be totally switching us to local meat and eggs :)

    If anyone needs a local meat source in West Michigan I went to Grassfield Cheese (besides meat and eggs they also make organic cheese!)
    http://www.grassfieldscheese.com/
    Also-there’s a Michigan blogger that has put together a farm ‘directory’ and she has lots of farms listed, as well as what they sell/their farming practices etc
    http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/gadget-wishlist/local-grand-rapids-resources/

  67. since you mentioned refined/artificial sweeteners at the begining of this post I was wondering how you feel about Stevia.

  68. Ok, I am in for this one…but I have been eating vegan so this should be no problem. Local meat is available in this area, but it is hard to find until the summer markets are open. I definately want to incorporate local meat once it is available.

    I just watched Food Inc and was more horrified by the processed corn/soybean aspect. If you really want to be freaked out about factory farms you should read “Eating Animals”.

    1. Kerri have you seen The Future of Food yet? It’s all about gmo crops and it’s unbelievable what’s happening to our crops now-this movie actually concerned me much more than Food Inc. It’s easy enough to switch to local meats (I found a source within a couple of days after watching the movie), but gmo crops spread and soon will contaminate the few farms that are trying to stay non gmo :( And we have no idea the long term affects of gmo, though some of the data coming out now and it’s very scary! And what makes it even worse, is our government refuses to mandate gmo labeling on food ugh!

  69. 2 adults and 2 children if you’re referring to dinners (this is how we normally eat, if we eat that much meat). Can only guarentee 1 adult and 2 children if lunches are included.

  70. I watched Food Inc. for a Food and the Visual Arts class I took last semester. The accompanying book was very interesting and sparked a lot of classroom debate. It was very interesting to note that not everyone immediately jumped on the Michael Pollan et al bandwagon. So much to think about!

  71. Oh yeah, uh… I’m in. Just one person, for the whole week. :)

    Btw, doing well on the beverage challenge. My issue is diet sodas. I’ve definitely felt lethargic all. week. long. and felt the need for the caffeine boost, but I’ve stuck to my guns. It’s been unsweet tea (the negligible caffeine has zero impact on me), peppermint herbal tea, and water all week!

  72. I already depend less on meat in my diet (I can typically go vegetarian for a day or two without noticing), and I purchase my red meat from a local rancher, so that part will be easy. The difficult part will be when I go out to eat! Chicken is near-impossible to come by locally, and it’s too late to submit an order for chicken from my rancher for this month, but I think I do have plenty of options.

    For example, I ordered a pound of skirt steak from my rancher. I’ll be hosting a dinner party on Sunday night and serving homemade beef fajitas with onions and organic peppers, and homemade whole wheat tortillas. I’m excited!

    Another idea: Last night I made a pot of beans I slow-cooked in the crock pot with a ham hock I also got from my local rancher. Makes a great protein source, and the meat really just acts as a flavor enhancer! Plus, it’s CHEAP. A $3 (1 lb) local hock flavors 3 lbs of beans!

    1. I’m doing alright on this challenge! My main problem is that my meat delivery got postponed, and when the day came, I completely forgot about it! So I have to wait for another delivery at a different time. I’ve had to throw out a lot of dinner plans and replace them with vegetarian options! Which hasn’t really been hard. Just inconvenient.

      Oh, also had to start half a day late. Had an office luncheon and had some sort of dish with meat in it. Meh.

  73. I actually think that this is one of the most important things that one can do to improve one’s health, eating local and ethically raised (read grass fed) meat that is.

    However–one thing I will challenge you on is, will you include enough vegetable protein when limiting meat? I am outspoken in my belief that protein is of utmost importance in one’s diet. (I subscribe to that nutrition or metabolic typing stuff.) In coming to this conclusion I have realized that this is a real issue because factory farmed animals place a HUGE burden on the environment, from start to finish. One of the things I have tried to do in my quest to eat a more plantbased diet but maintain health is I have searched for more plant and non meat protein sources, i.e.-beans and legumes, nuts, dairy and eggs.

    In trying to eat less meat many many people simply eliminate protein from their diet, but they needen’t. I don’t feel good when I eat too many grains and not enough protein. I feel spacy and light headed and endlessly hungry, and then finally sick to my stomach. So instead I add almonds to items, go nut heavy in your great granola recipe, have eggs on a salad with lunch, or eat beans with dinner. I think this has been my key to losing weight as a result of this diet.

    I know you know all this stuff, but for those just starting out on this pledge, I think it worth it to say that. According to the ideology of nutritional typing, most folks don’t thrive on a low protein diet. I think it is worth it to actively look for plant based protein sources.

    1. My thoughts exactly. (I just found this website by the way..really liking it!) I too am a protein type and must have enough protein to balance out all of the carbs you get from veggies and fruit. I have cut way back on wheat and gluten, instead eating sprouted grain breads and quinoa. I def don’t get the “bloated” feeling you get from wheat products any more. I still find it hard sometimes to get enough protein and I eat lots of eggs, nuts and fish. Love wild caught fish! What do you do to make sure you are getting enough grams of protein a day? Also, the more you exercise the more protein you need.

      100 days of Real Food…I love what you are doing! Thanks! glad I found you!

  74. We already eat local meat. I’ve recently cut down our red meat to twice a week. The local, grass-fed meat tastes so much better!

  75. Just me this time for one week. I know a local company for beef products and fish, but I haven’t found chicken locally in Monterey, CA area.

  76. This one is going to be so easy! I just bought some local chicken and we have local beef in the freezer. I also have access to local pastured pork & sausage!

  77. Well we don’t eat meat. But I can at least make sure our eggs are local :) I found a big difference in the local pasture fed chicken eggs. I realized that I’d rather have pasture fed than organic corn fed…
    After watching Food Inc. I have to say that it made me want to eat pasture raised, local and preferably organic food.
    The way I see it now is that it doesn’t matter how the animal dies so much as how it lives.

  78. Turns out we ended up following along with you last week even though I didn’t sign ourselves up. Not happening this week. Two adult and two kids for the whole week! :D

  79. My husband and I are in! I watched Food Inc. last weekend and I haven’t been able to look at chicken since. For some reason the beef realization didn’t hit me like the chicken. We aren’t huge meat eaters but I like it at least once or twice a week. I can stretch a chicken in our house! Can’t wait to meet the farmers at Atherton Market tomorrow so I can rehab my relationship with meat!

    P.S. What do you do on emergency road trips? I had nothing prepared besides my homemade granola bars and had to break down at Mcdonald’s (I know, I know, don’t judge :)

  80. I’m going to try it all week! I may have to stick to seafood though since I won’t be in town to go to my local farmers market for chicken this weekend!

  81. Charlotte metro has alot. Not sure how fae you are. Here are a few in this area :
    Baucoms best beef
    Grateful growers pork
    Creekside acres chicken
    all have websites..baucoms does ship if i remember correctly.
    We generally do this but not always the local portion due to budget however we do not do any soy products as most are overprocessed. We have cut meat consumption alot. Pasta salads with fresh veggies and homemade dressings are a great alternative and so are beans!
    Good luck everyone. Family of six. Husband participates when able due to work schedule.

  82. My daughter and I will be participating all week. My husband will be participating for the meals that he is home for. I live in a fairly rural area (Hamlet, NC) and don’t know of any local farmers that sell meat. I’ve asked on my facebook page and put in a couple phone calls to see what I can find. We do have some turkey and deer meat in the deep freeze (doesn’t get much more local or natural than that!) that we can eat if need be, at least until I can find a source.

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