What a great line from Mark Bittman in the Ted talk ‘What’s wrong with what we eat’.
At home we try for 3 vegetarian meals a week. Often not successfully and I know that is part laziness, part tastebuds. But when I eat meat I try to do two things – eat free range, and use as less plastic as I can (which is why I buy in bulk from my local butcher). So maybe I am committing to paying a little more for my meat.
There are these stunning gammon pork chops available at our local butcher. Baked in the oven with red onions and feta, it makes the day a dream. They cost $20 to purchase for the family, which is quite expensive in my book. Possibly another $5-8 for vegies. And after the meal we all lie back and sigh happily. So I reckon they are worth a couple of vegetarian meals to balance the books. A top quality restaurant meal that is a treat for $25. Later in the week we have a couple of vegie meals which average out at $10-12 for the family. Budget balanced.
And how much would I spend at the drive through at McDonalds – maybe $35 with all the bling thrown in? And that is just mince meat.
When I buy steak (which is not often because, again, it is pricey) I build in an extra vegetarian meal into my week. Because I want that steak to come from a happy cow that has actually had a life.
There is the argument that ‘at least these animals have lived’. In my book that debate is only worthwhile if those animals have seen pasture for the major proportion of their lives.
Free range meat shouldn’t be a luxury. It should be the norm. Where less is more and we understand what value for money actually means.
I’d love to know the nutrient value of pasture grazed meat rich with Omega 3 fatty acids Vs grain and corn fed factory meat – what the cost trade-off benefit is in simple numerical value. What parents might think then. Particularly when challenges like depression are being connected to diets low in Omega 3’s.
It’s just thinking. About the future we want to give our kids. The organisations we want to bankroll with our spending habits. Our own longevity and health.