Monday, March 1, 2010

conscious food choices.

{Disclaimer: this post is not to press my opinions or decisions upon anyone}
Guy and I recently sat down and started thinking about what we eat on a daily basis. We realized a few things:
1. We do eat enough greens. We weren't even getting one green per day.
2. We weren't living our values.
The first was easy to change. Now, with every dinner, we have at least one green. We've discovered broccoli, asparagus, and green beans are our favorite. Such a small change and we feel so much healthier. Plus it's been fun to pick out a vegetable at the grocery store and figure out a way to prepare it since we're such vegetable novices.
The second realization was harder to change. We've bought cage free eggs for about a year now. I had read about the living conditions of chickens in a coop and realized I could make a difference by supporting the farmers that let their chickens live 'cage free.' I pay about $1 more per carton but feel good about my decision each time I purchase eggs. Guy and I got to talking and realized we could be doing more.
After doing some research, we realized chickens are being pumped full of antibiotics to increase the rate at which they grow. Many chicken farms, but certainly not all, are not 'cage free, free range' which means that whole chickens life is spent in a coop, barely able to move. And becuase they are growing so rapidly, they often can't walk because their breasts are so large. The average chicken breast now is 3x the size from a chicken 50 years ago. After learning this, Guy & I make the conscious decision to only buy free range & organic chicken.

We also buy organic milk. I'm telling you.. it's unreal how much better it tastes! All of these options do cost more money. For us, the extra money is worth it.
What, if any, conscious food decisions have you made? Do you care about free range, cage free, organic, grass fed, etc?
{To reiterate - this post is not to change your mind or get you to make the decisions I have. I simply am interested in hearing your thoughts on the subject.}
Whole Foods Market has been a great resource of knowledge for me.


26 comments:

Whitney Lee said...

I saw the Food, Inc documentary. It was very enlightening. Seems like this weekend my husband and I had the very same conversation yall had. We're trying to support local and spend a $1 or $2 more on more nutrients and better products.

olivia rae said...

yes! amazing! I don't eat any meat and I always buy cage free eggs. And for milk I go with Almond Milk and I think it tastes way better!

bananas. said...

I try to buy as much organic as possible. To me it does taste better. I don't really eat a lot of chicken but i do like eggs. Never thought to buy cage free. I will definitely consider that next time i grocery shop.

Anonymous said...

I have been buying organic as much as possible, but I confess it wasn't because of how the animals are treated but for my family's health. I don't believe we were meant to eat food that has been shot up with hormones and antibiotics or sprayed with chemicals - just look at the declining health of our country to see the results. If you want some great resources for natural nutrition and healthy living, try naturalnews.com and mercola.com.

Julie (brown eyed belle) said...

I don't buy a lot of organic, I certainly need to buy more. I do, however, make it a point to buy organic eggs. I've always been nervous to try organic milk. I just love milk so much I'm afraid I won't like it! I may have to bite the bullet now, though :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic! I'm always interested to hear what people have to say about organic products :)

katie + bret said...

cage free = yes. That's what I go with! :)

Kimbirdy said...

Good for you! We go to a local co-op here in SF that only sells products from farms that treat their animals humanely. They even have a chart posted that gives specifics about each farm in CA - how many hours the chickens are free range (because letting chickens out for 1 hour a day can be classified as "free range"), which farms clip the chickens' beaks, what food is being fed to the chickens, etc. They have a similar chart about cows for dairy products. Not only am I eating healthier, but with a little education I'm helping the new trend in CA for more farms to make changes.

I also use soy milk, and try to eat as many colors that occur naturally each day (that's my vegetable/fruit rule).

Rasha said...

My boyfriend loves organic stuff... So we eat a lot of it,.

~KS said...

I buy some organic products. I was surprised to learn, though, during my Animal Law class, that the label "Organic" has nothing to do with the treatment of the animals though. There are a few critera laid out by the FDA that have to be met, but the humane treatment of the animals has nothing to do with it. I guess that didn't deter me from buying organic all together because I still think Organic is often times more pure and healthier...
I try to be pretty good about fruits and veggies. I also drink lots and lots of water... I also buy local brands when I can.

*Lesli* said...

1. no pork chicken or beef since december and i feel great.
2. trying to decide about going vegan...not sure i'm there yet.
3. just got The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone...amazing.
4. Just found out that free range chicken means the door to the coop only has to be open for 5 minutes per day. saddness.

Sarah Ann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah Ann said...

This is very cool!

I'm looking for a good recipe! I'd love to hear yours! Come share yours on my post!!! I would love to see if you have any good organic ideas?!

Sarah Ann sarahannrogers.com

Kaz and Amy said...

Good for you! I love chicken and have debated for a long time what to do about it because of what is pumped in them....
My husband and I also started juicing! Lots of fruits and veggies! I talk about it on my blog!

Hope you have a great Monday!
amy
www.theprikazskys.com

Summer {Bisfor...} said...

we do the same thing. i went completely veggie a long time ago but was not getting enough protein.

this are smart choices and i am proud of you!

Hilary Lane said...

We don't get enough greens either!! And if we had the money, I would love to be buying organic foods - I can't imagine how Jon & Kate did it, buying all organic for their entire family. The only thing that I splurge on is buying Smart Balance instead of butter or margarine.. why is that the only thing? I have no idea.. I just can't force myself to buy butter or marg!

Lisa said...

This is a great post. I have been vegetarian since I was 10 years old, and I think it is important for people to understand that you don't necessarily have to give up meat completely to stand up for animal rights. Simply demanding that the meat you consume comes from farms where the animals are treated properly is a wonderful step to take and I am proud to see so many people really thinking about the animals' quality of life.

drollgirl said...

yup, i do the same thing. but i recently heard that the free range chicken thing is a hoax and that that stuff is not monitored or confirmed -- anyone can right anything they want on the packaging. i don't even know what to believe any more. it is rather upsetting. now i want to start growing some vegetables, but that isn't so practical living in an apartment. but i am trying to buy more organic stuff from the farmer's market. all we can do is try and be healthier. gotta try.

Brandi Sellers said...

While I am by no means perfect, we definitely buy cage free organic eggs, grass fed beef, and are very excited that the grass fed beef farm we buy our beef from is now starting to raise free range chickens. We also buy either organic milk or almond milk. Organic produce is a must, and our biggest rule on how we make purchases is try and buy as much raw foods as possible. While I still end up craving a diet coke every now and then, I think we've made good progess and can only get better!

Jonesy said...

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Julie said...

I have recently started buying cage free eggs, and we've switched to almond milk. We are trying to eat mostly vegetarian meals during the week, with occasional chicken dishes. I got "The Therapeutic Chef" cookbook for Christmas and I've really found it helpful. It's all vegan, but I am finding I really like cooking and eating this way.

Mademoiselle Frou-Frou said...

i agree with your decisions and do the same when buying my food. it's bad enough we eat the animals, but at least make their lives a humane as possible!
xoxo alison

Margalicous said...

Ok, so I was trying to live by your inspiration and made a new veggie last night, broccolini, and it was awful. It was bitter. I so tried, but I am back to my regulars. I also do like frozen vegetables in a pinch, there quality has improved greatly

Little Miss Southern said...

Yay!!! Such a great choice!

OceanDreams said...

Great post Morgan, I too buy organic and range free. I feel so much healthier and am also trying to incorporate veggies into my diet. Good for you and thanks for the encouragement!

Claire Kiefer said...

I haven't eaten any meat since I was 14, but I'm with you on the cage free/free range/vegetarian fed eggs. It seems like every little thing we can do is important. I also try to buy as much local food as possible (at the farmers markets, mostly). I once heard a convincing argument to buy organic fruits and veggies: someone told me it's much better for the farmers, who don't have to plant/harvest/keep their hands in chemicals all day when they're farming organic.

Thanks for the post!
Claire

Des said...

I was never into eating healthy until I became aware of how much stuff is put into our food. Now, I basically stick to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's for my grocery shopping.