Sunday, November 25, 2012

Arm Yourselves: Food Resources

Here's a small list of Authors to read as you start or continue on your own journey towards Food (World) Awareness:

Pamela Rice does an excellent job introducing the main issues.  If you are new to this information, it will be shocking and embarrassing and sickening that humans are capable of such behaviour.  Highly moving and motivating. 

Michael Pollan is so calming to listen to.  Nothing seems to phase him.  And he knows his stuff.  He has numerous books and DVDs under his belt.  I would recommend anything of his. 

Lierre Keith changed my mind about going vegan.  Read "The Vegetarian Myth:  Food, Justice and Sustainability" whether you eat or never want to eat meat.  It's a book for everyone.  She takes the highly charged issues presented by Pamela Rice and weaves it together into much larger and often surprising pictures.  I would recommend you run, not walk, to get your hands on her book and make up your own mind.  You can read Chapter 1 for free.

Joel Salatin is a champion farmer.  He is so passionate about sustainability and runs his farm in such a logical way, you'd wonder why the heck isn't this the norm?  Well spoken and grounded, he has authored a number of books about farming and his struggles against the industrial machine.  I would spend my food dollars at his farm if I lived in the area.  Luckily we have some pretty great ones around here who follow the same sustainable philosophy. 


  1. I just read that free chapter. It seems to me that she has gone from one fairy tale to another. I don't know, of course, what she says in the rest of the book, but there is no way factory farms are all going to change to something more sustainable. I doubt that it is even possible to feed our huge population anymore on the available amount of farmland without using intensive farming methods.

    Many vegetarians might return to eating meat if the quality and safety and treatment of the animals were improved; others of us don't like the idea of causing the death of an animal so that we can eat or believe that it is healthier to eat a vegetarian diet.

    The discussion Lierre Keith tells us about with people wanting to divide the animals who are plant eaters from the meat eaters has nothing to do with reality. Those people were obviously not intelligent enough to even bother listening to (or reading.) I think a person who changed his or her eating beliefs based on something like that was looking for an excuse to change anyway. I don't care what she eats, but it certainly should not be based on something so stupid as something like that.

  2. My own personal opinion: If someone wants to eat meat, fine, but only if they eat meat that they personally hunted or raised. Without personally witnessing the life and death of the animal, meat becomes a commodity that exists without the reality of where it came from. Sort of like being pro-war without being on the front lines.

  3. @ Kathy;

    You hit on one of the key points in her book – Population. Industrial food production is in place to feed us (real and ghost populations) as long as we keep reproducing. It would be a sobering thing to find out what our lands could actually produce food wise if we were to do it in the right way and just how many people each country could truly afford.

    The farmer we met said the best thing for the earth is for us not to be here. To which D replied with we have long overstayed our welcome… If we were able to support farms who are adding to our soil we would be able to shift demand away from mass industry. It’s already happening with “buy local” being an everyday phrase now. This is just another step further.

    I didn’t read her description of the message board that way. I interpreted it that she went on to check out of morbid curiosity and stumbled on a particularly ridiculous discussion and used it as a lead in to an explanation of herbivores vs carnivores which was informative. Because the discussion was so “out there”, I don’t believe it was meant as a slight against others who are informed. I’m assuming those involved are likely (hopefully) new to it.

    @ Executioner;

    Your “personal opinion” opens up a number to heated issues here in Canada. If I were to ask how many people have actually held a gun much less fire one, I don’t believe I would get many hands up. We have stringent gun laws here with a national gun registry in place. Most people don’t realize just how much education people who wish to own guns for personal use have to get. From previous conversations, I learned that the course we have to go through isn’t mandatory in the States, only when you wish to carry a concealed weapon (handgun).

    Hunters are some of the most respectful and humane people I know. To hunt well and humanely, you not only have to be a great marksman, you have to have patience, instinct and a vast knowledge of the environment. The other part is cleaning your kill. Not everyone is up for the blood and guts. The buddy I blogged about – His parents couldn’t handle going into a Greek butcher shop because of the sight of the lambs hanging from the front window. The irony is that they are from Alberta – Our Texas and are meat eaters.

    So my friend whose husband hunts and fishes, is now eating what he brings home. I don’t think any less of her because she is anti-gun. D is extremely anti-gun too despite having farmers in his family where owning a rifle is just part of life.

    And how many people have actually bled a chicken? It’s been many years since I have, back in the days when it was done on your own farm and wasn’t illegal. I grew up with farming and seeing animals raised for food, treated well and then killed with thanks has obviously shaped my views. So I can understand what you are saying. Don't necessarily believe it is practical nor available nowadays. Though the world might be safer if we were all hunters and organic farmers.