By Nicole Fogarty (originally posted in personal blog)
“Still going the veggie route, huh?!” That was the first line of an e-mail from my mother a few days ago when I requested she buy veggie burgers for me for when I come home.
My New Year’s Resolution this year was to try out vegetarianism (this directly relates to the GO Adirondacks project I went on). I’m proud to say I haven’t eaten meat since January 1, 2011… except for maybe three or four slip ups :). Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE meat and absolutely believe we need to eat meat to live. Animals are cute and all, but they’re an important part of what I eat. You might be wondering, why is this girl a vegetarian? Well, I’ll tell you!
Going on my GO! Trip made me much more aware of the, for lack of a better word, EVIL meat industry in America. We talked a lot about the sustainable ways of obtaining food and the un-sustainable ways, and the meat industry definitely fell in the latter category.
I believe wholeheartedly in eating meat, but I want to put the best possible meat into my body. It’s unfortunately very difficult to do that, especially here at college. I realized I didn’t want to support the meat industry, nor did I want to put toxins and other baaaaaad stuff into my body. Each team member needed a New Year’s Resolution, so I chose only eating organic, locally grown, grass-fed (or other natural feeds) meats.
This quickly turned into not eating any meat, because I was able to have the good stuff so infrequently that, every time I ate it, I’d get sick because my body wasn’t used to meat. Being a vegetarian has become second nature to me, and it’s only been five months.
Now, I know a little bit about this, but compared to others I know absolutely nothing. Check out Sustainable Table for some great tips on how to live an overall more sustainable lifestyle. Also, here are some tips from Food, Inc.‘s website (I highly recommend watching the movie- it’s instant watch on Netflix!):
1. Stop drinking sodas and other sweetened beverages.
2. Eat at home instead of eating out.
3. Bring food labeling into the 21st Century.
4. Tell schools to stop selling sodas, junk food, and sports drinks.
5. Meatless Mondays—Go without meat one day a week.
6. Buy organic or sustainable food with little or no pesticides.
7. Protect family farms; visit your local farmer’s market.
8. Make a point to know where your food comes from—READ LABELS.
9. Tell Congress that food safety is important to you.
10. Demand job protections for farm workers and food processors, ensuring fair wages and other protections.
Like I said, I have so much more to learn about all of this… so learn with me!