Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Food For Thought

I watched this movie on Netflix many months ago, but impact it made on me is pretty tremendous. I know it's been out for awhile, but if you haven't seen it yet, please stop reading and go turn it on. This movie really brings to light all of the atrocious things that corporate food companies are doing with our food.
(If you can even call it that after the stuff they do to it.)

Now to all my vegetarian/vegan friends out there, I respect your choice, but I urge to reconsider. If of course the reason you don't eat meat is health related and you must abstain, then go right ahead.

However, if you choose not to eat meant because of the cruel ways animals are treated (and I agree) then start supporting stores that sell meat from animals that are treated fairly, given no antibiotics, & fed normal diets (when I say normal, I mean things that they would eat naturally. Grass, feed, etc.)

The more demand for these products, the more production - thus more animals will be treated well!
What's that? If you all tell people to treat me better, they will? Sweet!

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This movie also reminded me of the impact we make on the earth in general.
Now, I'm a proud tree-hugger (no shame), but in the hustle and bustle of life I know we all forget to do out part sometimes.

Here I've created a list of things I do regularly that are super simple:

  1. Don't use produce bags - they are a complete waste!
  2. Bring your own grocery bags - Tons of companies give them out for free advertising & if you can't find any of those, there are always inexpensive options at your grocery store. Plus it makes carrying groceries infinitely easier, because you can put the bags over your shoulders!
  3.  Eat at home! (At least every night for dinner) - this helps you know where your food is coming from, saves you TONS of money, is a healthy choice, and develops the relationships of those you eat with! (Family, roommate, friend, etc.)
  4. Eat your leftovers. This should be common sense, but many people throw away extras instead of saving them for lunch or dinner, or even a snack for the next day. It can save you time to prep more once in the beginning of the week and eat the rest throughout, plus it can save you money and keep unnecessary trash from going to a landfill.
  5. Reuse & Recycle plastic bags -When I buy meat I use a plastic bag to bring it home, then I use it as bathroom trash bag. Also, most plastic bags are recyclable now, so at least throw it in the recycling bin if you're not going to use it again.
  6. Buy local whenever you can - This not only helps the economy & local families and business owners personally, but it has a lesser impact on the environment (since the food travels a shorter distance) and in many cases is actually more beneficial to your body (i.e. local honey can help with seasonal allergies).
  7. Use your own travel mugs - We have a couple in the house to take coffee/tea out, and two that are always in our car for when we're on the go and need a pick-me-up. (Also, most coffee shops offer a discount for people who bring their own mugs. Another money saving tip for you!)
If you don't already do these things, I encourage you to start now and soon they will be such a natural part of your routine you won't even have to think about it!

Here is a slightly more complicated list, but still very important if you can figure out a way to make them work:

  1. Compost! - So many things can be composted and put right back into the earth! It is a great way to fertilize your gardens, as well as keep those landfills less full. (Because who really wants thousands of GIGANTIC piles of trash lying around?) I am still trying to work out the logistics of composting in apartment living, but I've learned a few new things recently that should help me get the ball rolling. One, two, & three are some great options for other apartment dwellers who want to make composting a part of their daily routine.
  2. Find other uses for packaging - I've been known to save many containers and jars for various crafts. Some jars are also great for collecting any excess oil from cooking that shouldn't be poured down the drain.
  3. Recycle & Donate - (duh) Nowadays you can recycle just about everything & I fear that many people don't take advantage of recycling enough. Everything from batteries to televisions to coffee makers can (and should) be recycled if they aren't functioning. And if they are, drop them off at your local thrift store or Goodwill. (Donations are tax-deductible!)
(I was happy to recently find out that Pittsburgh has a pretty great recycling center just a few miles from my apartment. So, despite the fact that the bin outside my apartment is only for glass and aluminum, I can still recycle a bunch of other things!)

I know this was more like reading a short book than a blog post, but now you can go watch Food, Inc. & not have to worry about reading for a little while ツ 

Keep loving our one & only earth!


  1. The challenges to the claim "eat locally" are pretty interesting. Of particular note is the evidence that growing food locally that doesn't naturally grow there uses MORE resources because of all the artificial housing/lighting/heat you need. I can't imagine "local New York oranges" in the winter would be resource efficient. It's hard to know who's behind them, but from an intuitive perspective, given how little fuel is actually needed to transport things in bulk, it seems at least plausible.

    Great seeing you both!

    1. You make a great point. I should have added that eating seasonally is important, too. I tend to do it naturally, because in the winter my body just craves hardier veggies.

      We enjoyed seeing you guys, too! And look forward to many more butt-kicking game nights =)

  2. I actually just saw this documentary, and I couldn't BELIEVE the horrible ways that mass production animals are treated. I think the saddest thing is that most people who buy meat at a grocery store have no idea where it came from and what it went through to get there. If that information was more widely known, I think it would be easier to find ethical meat, for sure! Good for you for changing the way you do things :)


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