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Status: “I just killed a pig and a goat.” 3 Rules to Connect To Your Food

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A few months back, I remember all the hoopla about Mark Zuckerberg’s new challenge: eating only what he kills.

I thought it was some sort of joke. Actually a sick one.

As his May 4th Facebook status “I just killed a pig and a goat”  became viral, I was  pissed because I absolutely love animals and couldn’t even think of killing them. Even spiders.  I will shoo the little creatures out the door OR scream for Kevin to do it if they are really big ones. I can’t kill something that is alive.

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So cute and cuddly!
 

After investigating a little further, I found this Facebook billionaire sets a personal challenge each year.  In 2009, he wore a tie every day. In 2010, he learned Chinese.

This year, he wants to be thankful for the food he has to eat.

“I started thinking about this last year when I had a pig roast at my house.  A bunch of people told me that even though they loved eating pork, they really didn’t want to think about the fact that the pig used to be alive.  That just seemed irresponsible to me.  I don’t have an issue with anything people chose to eat, but I do think they should take responsibility and be thankful for what they eat rather than trying to ignore where it came from.”

Okay, I guess I can see his point. Now I’m not going to get into moral and ethical opinions, but I do agree that we should at least know where our food comes from.  Most Americans really don’t know where food come from. We just know that we drive to the grocery store, take items off the shelves, pay, then bring them home.  BUT do we REALLY know what farm our eggs comes from? OR are Pop Tarts really food?

Michael Pollan, author of Omnivore’s Dilemma, and sustainable farming advocate, says “Eat foods without bar codes.” AND  “Don’t get your food through a window of your car.” 

I keep these reminders with me while I grocery shop. Sometimes this is difficult to do, but at least 80% of the time, I try to eat whole foods and limit processed.  Even if you can do this 60% of the time, you are doing a swell job.

Here are my 3 rules for staying connected to your food:

 
 
Fresh fall produce

1.  Read labels.  A good rule of thumb is to read the ingredients. Anything in Latin? Or science talk? More than 5 ingredients? If so, it’s not real food.  You probably can’t trace where it came from. 

Is there even a label? If not, good job! You must be in the produce aisle or at a farmer’s market.  

2. Support CSAs (community supported agriculture groups) and visit local farmer’s markets.  Make a pact with yourself to support local farmer’s and CSA groups so you can make sure you buy organic plus lesson the carbon footprint on our Earth. Also, the food will be fresh compared to produce that took days to get to you.

3. Just ask.  No matter where you shop, you can ask the person behind the counter or the farmer at the market. See if she can tell you exactly where that milk came from. What farm? How are the cows raised? Do you have organic certification?

I found that if I followed these 3 rules, I usually am safe with my food choices and feel so connected to the fuel I’m putting into my body.

We are what we eat. Yes?  If we are eating fake foods, we most likely feel fake. If we eat real foods, we are able to connect with our bodies and truly listen to what she needs to live optimally.

If you are curious, find out about Mark’s challenge in this Fortune article.  Eating Only What He Kills .

Also, here are a few useful links to help you get started:

Slow Food USA:  a grassroots movement that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.

Local Harvest:  nationwide directory of CSAs and other local food sources

How do you make sure you get the best quality food? How do you make sure  you know where your food comes from?

Please leave a comment below and any cool suggestions on how you get connected to your food.

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15 Responses to Status: “I just killed a pig and a goat.” 3 Rules to Connect To Your Food

Nancy Collier

I’d think any adult over 21 with a brain could figure out meat comes from animals raised on (hopefully) a farm and eggs come from chickens just by watching TV. We were also taught that in school. I am guilty of your two rules of the bar codes and drive-thru meals. Is it OK if I go inside to get my unhealthy food at the fast food restaurants or is it OK to buy salads at the fast food rest? Also, I luv Clif Builder’s 20g protein bars, “The Entirely Natural Protein Bar” is what is advertised. Is that an OK bar code food to eat? I like them for breakfast and late night snacks.

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    Nancy, thanks so much for your comment…you didn’t break the rules…I suggest reading Pollan’s book, Food Rules for more detailed info on what he means about eating fast food. In a nutshell, don’t do it either in the car or in the place. He says to cook your food as much as possible. Even salads…if you go for that, don’t use their dressing. Tons of bad fats and sugars in them. As for your bars, check the ingredients…I suggest Larabars OR if you want more protein, then go for Vega. I’m not a big fan of soy protein isolate, and the Cliff brand has tons of soy in their products; not to mention tons of cane sugar. If you were to pick one bar code food, however, that is better than a bag of Frito Lay chips or Snickers.:)
    I can’t really speak for Mark, but if you read his article in Fortune about why he is doing this, you can get a better picture of this challenge. I agree, we do know that cows give us beef, eggs come from chickens, but how often do we know the exact farm it comes from, how they were raised, etc…? I think that is where he is getting at. πŸ™‚ Great stuff, Nancy!:)

Stephanie Santos Songer

YEAH! I’m a HUGE fan of Michael Pollan. I make an effort every week to know where my food comes from and even try to buy local to reduce my carbon footprint! For me, the two go hand in hand. Thanks for sharing.

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    Stephanie, I so know you are! I think you were the one to have us read Ominvore’s Dilemma years ago in book club.:) I’m with you…I try my hardest to buy local and even talk to the farmer’s to find out more about their crops, etc…The more I am proactive, the better I feel. You are the best, Stephanie!!!

Lisa Combs

Interesting that you mention Fritos! Only three ingredients–corn, veg. oil, and salt. Obviously that doesn’t make them health food but a better choice than many things in the vending machine. I agree completely with taking responsibility for your food choices. I’m not a vegetarian but try to only buy naturally raised meat and chicken (tough now that I don’t have a Whole Foods) and don’t eat it every day. When my kids have struggled with the conflict of liking animals and eating them I have encouraged the struggle rather than glossed over the reality. Make your choice but make an informed choice.

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    I know…those Fritos! The 5 ingredients or less rule sometimes gets confusing. But if you really think about it, the ingredients aren’t all the good. Where does the corn come from? Veg. oil-sheesh! salt? Which kind is used? How much? Such as I have these Vega power bars I like. They have more than 5 ingredients, but at least I know what they are, and I’ve met the owner of the company and point blank asked him to explain what’s in his products. I love that you encourage that struggle with you kids…I do the same. Everyone is free to make their own choices as long as they’re informed. Agree 100% Lisa! Thanks so much for your message!!!!

Gretchen

I’d be interested to hear how Zuckerberg felt AFTER he killed the animals. How could you not want to give up meat after looking in the animals’ eyes, how could you feel proud that you had taken a life? I used to justify meat consumption because I bought either kosher or Whole Foods meat, but the fact is, I was paying someone else to do my dirty work so that I didn’t have to feel guilty. I just can’t, literally, stomach that anymore.

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    Hi Gretchen! I was thinking the same thing, although he mentioned it was tough. I can see his point BUT overall, and I didn’t go into my opinion on morals and being compassionate…that I will save for another blog post! I do agree with you, especially as a veg. I totally get it!:) I’m all about the energetics of the food. Thanks for sharing, Gretchen!

Liz Longacre

Great post lady! People are so disconnected with where their food comes from, it’s astonishing. But that’s how the companies who create the food want you to be, so they make it that way. If everyone educated themselves more on where their food comes from and stopped listening to creative marketing we’d be a far more compassionate and healthy planet!

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    Oh, yes, the companies! You are so right, Liz! And it makes sense, completely. I agree that if we really took personal responsibility to get more education on our food sources, we would have a gentle world. Great message, Liz!

Meaghan Massella Walker

Great post! I just joined a CSA and now enjoy fabulous vegetables grown 3 miles from my house! Now, if only I can convince my husband to let me have chickens and goats in the yard… πŸ™‚

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    Meaghan, okay, you’re going to think I’m a nut, but I was just thinking about you today! No joke. Referred some folks to you and wondered if you met them yet. Anyhoo, so awesome you joined a CSA…doesn’t it feel (and taste!) so good? I had some friends with goats and chickens and they enjoyed all the fresh milk and eggs. I hope you can get your husband to go for it!

      Meaghan Massella Walker

      Thanks for spreading the word!!!

      And yes, the local food tastes amazing… I can taste the love that went into growing it!

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