According to a UN study in late 2006, eating meat IS WORSE for the environment than driving a hummer.
Livestock are responsible for 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.
Just the type of environmental factoid that I swish around in my mouth with a spoonful of guilt, then furiously spew it back at my entire address book, simultaneously bemoaning the Bush Administration (easy target) corporate America, the lazy mainstream US media (got the story from the BBC), and Ray Kroc for getting us into this mess in the first place.
Thankfully for my sanity’s sake, today’s revelation does not affect me directly, as I do not eat red meat. Originating from a food snob father who would tell us exactly the why’s, where’s and how’s that food got on our plates, I’m hyper sensitive to the politics of food. I’ve been known to eat a worm or two with relish (excitement, not condiment), as his little squirming body meant my mesculin was pesticide-free.
This fetish, expectedly, developed into quite the case of food phobia. Yes, I am the throw-the-milk-away-at-midnight girl. I am acutely aware of the ingredients in everything I eat – nary a partially-hydroginated morsel passeth thru my lips. It’s not a weight thing – I eat a plenty of avocados, wine and cheese. Oh there is cheese.
I’ve become obsessed with locally grown food – less transport, less environmental impact. And seasonal food – strawberries in the summer, rather than in the early spring, when they inevitably travel from a distant Chile, picked far in advance of ripeness. My local farmer’s market tantalizes the senses. If there was such a thing as a sommelier of heirloom tomatoes, I would get a Masters. I get a secret thrill from the eating the darkest and driest whole bran muffin, the grittier the better form my insides. I feel worthy, I feel light on my feet. I feel like my chi is aligned. I get this from food.
In contrast, after indulging in Ahi Tuna sashimi, I can feel the mercury settle deep into my veins for a day or two, slowly poisoning my bloodstream, leading to hair growth on my toes.
Is this so wrong? My obsession with the wholest of whole foods? Or my fear of additives and food-“like” substances? (Would Steven Colbert say that those bags of processed crunch had “Foodiness?”) I suppose there could be worse obsessions and phobias.
Is anyone else out there like me? If so, you will get a particular joy from Grub.
The first half the book is a an eye-opening expose of the politics of food, and the second half is a fantastic assortments of seasonal recipes. I particularly recommend the po-boys and baked spiced french fries. Eat in good conscience.