March 10, 2011 § 2 Comments
So, what’s that about?
Beginning March 1, both Jennifer and I have eaten veganishly. Well, two-thirds vegan is a better way to categorize our recent eating habits. And to clarify, that means we have been eating two vegan meals out of three each day. And for those of you who need further clarification, that means – to us – no meat, fish, eggs and dairy products for two of three meals.
Torture? No. Surprisingly. And surprisingly easy, even on vacation.
Your next question: Why? For me, first off, it’s a skepticism around the freshness of the meat, eggs and dairy I purchase and eat, how those animals are raised, and what they’re eating themselves. I know, I could go to Whole Foods or some other high-end grocery and buy their luxury products. I don’t have a whole paycheck to give up for a chicken thigh that’s been gently raised, whispered to that never-ending sleep, and trucked just miles to my local high-end market. Spend your money that way if you can.
I’m all for supporting local ag. And that’s why I do frequent farmers markets when I can. You can find local and small-ag meats in many of them now, and that’s a great way to become exposed to the sources of your meats and dairy. Do it!
But, and this is my second point, I’m already familiar with small farms. I grew up on one. We raised our own beef, pork and chickens. We had milk cows, too. Mom made butter and sometimes cheese. We could call our burgers by name. It wasn’t until college that I ate meat on a regular basis for which I didn’t know its source. And you know? It’s just different. I never really enjoyed it – especially the beef. I had maby five beef dishes within the first couple of years after college, but essentially no beef in 20 years.
Pork. I love pork. LOVE bacon. Oh, man, do I love bacon. Haven’t had it since December 2009. Again, why? Well, it’s my dream – and Jennifer’s too – to find a little farm somewhere and raise our own stuff. We’ve talked about it for years. A huge garden, a sheep and goat for cheese, a little pig (that would be for me), chickens for the both of us. Omitting from my diet something I love so much was a commitment on my part to making that farm happen. No farm, no pork. It’s quite an incentive.
Chicken. Chicken had always been the fallback meat. I just can’t do it anymore. I remember watching that expose on some chicken farm or processing plant down in the South, about 10 years ago or more. Did you see that? Ugh and yuck! Americans deserve to be treated better than that by their corporate food providers. Seriously.
This two-thirds vegan thing isn’t an original idea. Jennifer had read Mark Bittman did it to lower some medical numbers and to drop a few pounds. It worked. So, why not give it a try?
I’m playing loose with the rules, too. Such as cookies. Am I not going to eat cookies because they have eggs? Are you kidding? Justine, I know you’re reading this and had concerns over how “veganish” is going to affect my baked goods that find their way into your office. Eggs and dairy will be used aplenty in my baking.
If for some reason we miss a vegan meal, we’ll make up for it the next day with a completely vegan day.
Business trips will be difficult, especially the kind I take. I am traveling up the California coast with my boss for 7 days at the end of the month. He’s a big BBQ meat lover. That should give Dainty plenty of fodder for interesting posts.
We look for another variation while traveling – places or chefs who only cook with virgin oils such as olive oil, peanut oil or coconut oil. We ignore chefs who choose canola and other mixed ‘modern’ oils.
I think it’s awesome that you guys are doing two vegan meals a day. When we have dinner guests, my husband is always skeptical because I don’t serve meat. It’s funny, we’re having guests over tomorrow night, and one of them said “I hate to be a bother, but I’m vegetarian this month.” “Veggie or vegan?” I asked, “because either way we’re cool.” Much to my husband’s disappointment, it will be another plant and whole grains based meal.