Though my eggs, poultry, bacon, beef and milk come primarily from range-fed, grass-fed, organic, humanely raised and (oxymoronically) slaughtered animals, the images of the video are so deeply imprinted on my mind that I suspect I will not be able to swallow animal flesh again.
It's tough, even in a city like San Francisco, to eat organic, free-range all the time, but it is possible. Yes, it costs extra. I manage the extra cost four ways:
- As a tithe;
- As an investment in the future well-being of the Earth and her creatures;
- As the humane, right thing to do;
- As the best possible support for the small-scale farmers and ranchers who dare to buck the system and grow food that is good for us, good for the planet and good for the animals on whose lives we depend.
But what if I weren't already on this path? What if that video was the catalyst for an entire lifestyle change? Where would I start?
Wendy Gabriel of the Minneapolis Green Living Examiner posted the final installment of her interview with Dr. Alan Greene, author of Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Caretoday. She asked Dr. Greene, "If you were only going to choose a few organic foods, what would you choose?"
Dr. Green named three: milk, potatoes, peanut butter. I would add eggs, yogurt, butter and cream as well--all dairy products. To learn why Dr. Greene put those three at the top of the list, visit Gabriel's article on Examiner.com.
What to do if your local grocery store or supermarket does not carry organic produce and dairy? Local Harvest makes it easy to find a farmer's market or a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm near you, any where in the United States. Chances are there's one close enough.
Many farmers market vendors are certified organic producers or in the process of certification. They won't mind if you ask to see their certification. They need your support as much as you need their fresh, tasty food.
CSAs deliver freshly harvested, in-season fruits and vegetables, either to your doorstep or to a central location within a relatively short radius, so look for one near you and begin getting premium foods picked ripe, packed quickly and delivered almost immediately.
In the Village of Ordinary, some people are vegetarians and some are carnivores. All are raised with a deep respect and abiding love for the animals with whom they share the Earth and especially with the animals who help to feed them. For more ways to build that dynamic into our lives, subscribe to this blog or sign up for e-mail notifications in the right hand column.