Monday, 27 February 2017

Food, Vegan, Vegitarian, Plant based whole food diet

For the past few years I have become more and more obsessed with the food that we are eating.  I have this dream that one day we will be entirely vegetarian (ovo-lacto vegetarian) and will live on a small plot of land where I can have a cow and a few chickens, with lots of green houses where I grow everything we eat.  I would love to have enough solar powered or otherwise green energy to run our house and still live comfortably.

This food obsession of mine has got me growing things hydroponically.  I currently own 3 aerogrow systems and am seriously considering building something for my roof terrace.  I love the idea of picking what I need salad and herb wise right when I need it and not having to leave my house for it.  That is goal 1.

Goal 2 is going to be be staple vegetables:  I currently have cherry tomatoes and lettuce, but I want beefsteak tomatoes, zucchini, squash, leek, onions, cucumbers, corn, carrots, potatoes, beans, peppers, and others.

Goal 3:  nuts and fruit trees (I have lots but they are not growing fruits/nuts yet), olive trees

Goal 4:  wheat, rice, other legumes like chickpeas, lentils, etc.

Goal 5:  exotic fruts/nuts/ etc in special temperature controlled greenhouses

I have been watching all these documentaries:  movies like Forks over Knives and a documentary about a woman in NYC that challenges a bunch of meat eaters to go vegan for 6 weeks and then follows their progress.  I even spent some time on Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Life website.

I was almost convinced.... but a conversation with my (I grew up vegetarian) husband had me digging deeper and listening to the little voice in my head instead of my passions.  I found this wonderful (and long) article written by Denise Minger   that got me thinking.  Only, now I wasn't thinking about going vegan, I was thinking about unbiased journalism.  As wonderfully written as Ms. Minger's article is, even it isn't unbiased.  She writes from a completely anti-wheat stance.  However, her article shows how the data in Forks over Knives could have been skewed and how they only looked at the data they wanted to see.

Now, I'm the type of meat eater that wants to see the meat packaged in the supermarket.  If I had to kill it then I wouldn't eat it.  EVER.  I don't like to touch raw meat.  And, to be honest, I'm not into eating red meat - I do - but I don't really enjoy it.  I also eat very little chicken and I eat turkey once a year (guess which day), and I eat no fish or seafood of any kind.  I eat ground beef once or twice a week as a staple meat.  I do this because a lot of my recipes call for ground beef and the texture is what I am looking for in that dish.  I could probably find a replacement for the mince that wasn't meat and gave me the same texture.  I just haven't tried.

The PETA website and documentaries that promote veganism show you a very dark view of the food industry.  And while I  am sympathetic to that cause, and could never deliberately cause harm to an animal, I am not willing to believe that all farms do such things.  My grandparents had a wonderful little farm when I was growing up. Their animals were well taken care of, grass fed, free range and had superior vet care.  Female calves weren't taken from their mothers, (although most of the males were sold off),  and the cows were only in the barn during milking / feeding times, except during the worst winters when they were inside so they didn't freeze.  Pigs and chickens were also treated very well.  Their websites would have you believe that there are NO small farms left in America.  That every farm has succumbed to the 'mass market food production'.  That is simply not true.

I try to wear clothes that are plant based (cottons mostly) for my clothes/jeans.  However, I do own one or two silk items ( given to me as gifts), some cashmere, and some wool.  I do not belong to the group PETA, and will probably never.  I can't say that at this time, I agree with some of their ideas.  I don't believe that using animal hair / fur to make clothing is wrong, as long as the animals are healthy and well taken care of.  I don't believe in killing or harming the animal for the sake of wearing it.  I would never buy something that I knew had harmed the animal when making it.  Sheering or combing sheep to create a sweater doesn't bother me any more than cutting my hair.  My dog used to shed enough to make clothes from, if only I knew how.

Well, I digress.  For now, I will keep working toward my goal of growing what we eat, so that the only things I need from the store are milk, eggs and other dairy products.

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