August 22, 2014

The Human Relationship with Food

After reading Kassie's blogpost , I was inspired to share my own thoughts about the human relationship with food.

Not many people know what a broccoli plant looks like, and I didn't either, until last week when our broccoli plant was ready to be picked. Is "picked" the right word? i don't even know...and that's the thing! We have become so detached from our food, that we don't even know what it looks like before it gets to the supermarket to be sold!

In addition to fruits and vegetables, what about the meat, dairy, and seafood we eat?! Those all come from LIVING CREATURES, so it's even more important to know where they come from! I had never questioned where my eggs come from, or how the cows at dairy farms were treated.

Over the past few years, I have experimented with vegetarianism and pescatarianism, and I decided to be a pescatarian since February 2014. Why? Not because of any animal rights issues, but simply because eating this way allowed me to maintain a healthy & balanced diet (and when I say diet, I don't mean fad diets or anything, I'm just talking about what we eat!): we're not supposed to eat too much seafood (I stick to max. twice a week, and usually if I'm at home, it becomes more like 1-2 every two weeks just because we don't eat it very often), and I eat about 2-3 eggs per week (I need my protein and I like the taste of eggs once in a while, but I have to be in the mood for it). So what do I eat? I concentrate the majority of my diet on vegetables and fruits, and I get extra protein by eating beans & nuts.

I got off we were talking about why I chose to be a pescatarian. Well, now, I have more reason to choose to eat this way. I don't think there's anything wrong about eating meat, but it's the predominant attitude towards meat that I think is wrong. After reading Kalel's blogpost about veganism, I was inspired to read more about animal treatment in the food industry. I watched a few clips from a Earthlings, and was horrified by the way animals are treated in some places.

What I got from watching those clips is that if humans are to eat meat, then we should KNOW where our meat comes from. We should understand how we get our steaks, from the cow to the plate. It's important. For me, I would not be able to watch my pet chicken be killed for dinner. Okay, so I'm not a fan of birds and I would never want to have a pet chicken in the first place, but I've eaten chicken plenty of times in the past, but that's the thing!

The thing? What thing? DETACHMENT.

We're disconnected from our food! And we've been okay with this detachment because honestly, most of us can't handle the reality of raising your own livestock for food. How many of us would be able to raise chickens for our own food and have to kill them for food? I just can't stomach that idea...some people can, and that's totally okay. But right now, I just can't. My ideology is that if I can't stomach the idea of killing animals for food, then why should I be okay with buying killed animals from the supermarket? If you're okay with that, then that's okay for you, but this is just a personal choice.

Now, it's one thing about being able to stomach the idea of the aforementioned process, but it's important to remember that it's not ideal to raise your own livestock anymore, so the detachment is necessary to a degree.

In my opinion, I think that if we're gonna have that necessary detachment in our modern world, we should at least make the effort to get meat that's going to be nutritious for us and to get the meat from a place where the animals are treated humanely. Go to your local farms and farmer's markets, see/ask about how the animals are treated, how you get your meat, and then if you are pleased with what you see/hear and you know that you'll be getting your meat from a sustainable and humane source. Plus, it's beneficial for you! You don't have to worry as much about GMO's creeping up the food chain and impacting you if you get grass-fed beef. And this attitude goes for other foods as well: seafood, dairy products, even plant-based foods. You're not only helping the environment, but you're also helping people: you're supporting people in other countries whose livelihood depend on new & sustainable methods of farming. Not only will you help them establish a better life, but also a sustainable lifestyle that they can maintain and grow from.

I think it's a good thing that more and more people are getting into healthy eating. I don't like following mainstream trends typically, I try my hardest to be "unique" (which I guess is also a trend but whatever), but I think this is a good "trend" because it leads to a sustainable lifestyle and environment. "Grass-fed", "free-range", "non-GMO", "organic", "hormone free"...these are all words that have become very familiar to us, and we should know what these words really mean, so I highly encourage you to just simply Google these words.

So here's the call to action: let's take responsibility and empower ourselves with knowledge about what we consume. In the end, we have not only ourselves to take care of, but the whole planet and the whole future of our planet. 

xoxo, Hannah

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