Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Our Food Journey: Going Grass-Fed!

Back at the beginning of summer, I wrote this post about my goal to gradually transition my family to an organic diet. I set the goal to make switches and swaps on the grocery list every week until we were eating a more ecologically friendly and pesticide-free palate of food. That journey has progressed nicely, but not in the way I expected. While we are eating some things organic that we weren't before, the real transition has been in even more processed foods being eliminated from the grocery list.

Instead of buying bread, I'm baking it. Granola bars and other processed snacks, even those touting the USDA Organic seal, are rare. My son has made a great transition to eating fruit and cheese for snacks instead of (yes, still organic but still processed) cheddar bunnies or peanut butter crackers. It's nice to have an almost-bare pantry and an overflowing fridge.

But last week I picked up The Omnivore's Dilemma again and started reading. I've been taking some rest days from running and spending two days a week on the elliptical, which gives me time to read. And, that means time to start thinking again about the way our food choices affect the world around us.

I've never claimed to be an environmentalist or animal activist. I'm not against those appeals, its just that my focus is on eating simpler food for health's sake, not the world's. But, the more I read the more the two worlds get closer together. That's what led me to the store looking for grass-fed beef this week.

I've eaten grass-fed beef before but more out of curiosity than anything else. Now I'm more mom-on-a-mission to avoid being part of the machine. That's why this article called "Truth in Labeling" was so valuable to me: it sheds light on the new supermarket lingo and offers a reality check on food labels. We all know food marketers will say whatever it takes to get us to buy buy buy, but the FDA also muddies the waters with loopholes, technicalities, and grandfather clauses that make what we think is organic and clean, well, not quite. It annoys me that I feel like I need a graduate degree in semantics just to go grocery shopping, but I'm also thankful that there are resources to help me figure it all out.

I am not a food photographer.
But this bison burger was delish!
I made a bison burger this week for the first time! It was delicious and I'm looking forward to making more swaps to friendlier meat. My pantry and fridge are not 100% organic yet, but hey - I gave myself until the end of the year! We're on our way!

Get out there and get healthy today, even if it means learning the secret grocery store code!

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