Saturday, September 11, 2010

Food Snob? Or Food Revelation?

So today I went to the farmer's market and the grocery store again (as I seem to do every Saturday) and I spent SO MUCH MONEY. For one week of groceries (plus some pantry staples) I spent about $140. I've heard that American's spend the lowest percentage of their income on food (hard to believe considering how chubbed most of us are), but this seems like too much. I guess if I figure it out, $140 a week is a little over 16% of my income, which is on par with South Africa and well above the average American. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that I try to buy organic as much as I can and try to steer clear of cheap foods made with corn (including high fructose corn syrup), sugar, and salt?

Does this make me a food snob? Or have I just had a food revelation? As I continue to read up on the benefits of a vegetarian and organic diet, I find myself turning my nose up more and more at common American food favorites (McDonalds anyone?). I've started shopping more in the artisan bread and cheese section, looking for locally produced goods, and avoiding the meat section of the grocery store like the plague because to me it has an awful blood smell.

I guess my food revelation started when I began experimenting with cutting out the meat from mammals out of my diet due to ethical and health reasons. I decided that if I couldn't kill a cow, why should I eat one? From there I started to become a pollotarian, which changed to a pescetarian, and finally a vegetarian.

  • January 2008 - Officially cut out all red meat and meat from mammals.
  • September 2008 - Officially cut out all poultry (although at times I had a few setbacks with chicken, probably due to low protein in my diet causing me to crave chicken like nobody's business)
  • February 2010 - Switched to only purchasing family farmed eggs
  • April 2010 - Officially cut out all fish

I get questions all the time about if I eat eggs, can have cheese, is fish considered meat? It amazes me that some people don't consider fish animals, or I guess don't consider fish to be meat. What else would it be? A vegetable? I think I will always eat eggs, cheese, milk, and of course ice cream. I just try to buy more organic products of dairy and get my eggs from family farms. Organic dairy comes from cows being able to have access to the outdoors, and some brands, like Organic Valley, pride themselves on getting dairy from cows allowed to graze on pastures. LIKE COWS SHOULD.

Anyway, while I'm not one to harass someone who is eating meat (except my husband sometimes), I will share the information I've learned about the inhumane way animals and workers are treated in factory farms and the effect factory farms, commercial egg operations, and overfishing are having on the environment to anyone who wants to know.

I'm proud of the knowledge I've gained and the choices I've made. And even though I'm now expanding my culinary horizons, I will still eat Subway, Dairy Queen, and Oreos.

Some things never change.


  1. OMG! I just typed a huge comment and it got deleted because I tried to use my wordpress profile! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO frustrating!

    This time I will be much more brief.

    I just wanted to say how proud I am of you and the life decisions you made. It takes a lot of courage and will power to be able to give up entire food groups like that in name of a cause. Well done indeed!

    I do not think of chicken and fish as meat, but this has nothing to do with me not thinking of them as animals. It just seems like the word is usually in reference to mammals.

    Did you give up all seafood Shannon? I thought you said something about eating crab lately. I don't think I would ever give up seafood, but I try to make better choices when it comes to what I am buying. Would you ever eat bugs? I think I would. I think of them kind of like crustaceans I eat in the ocean. I know I would much rather eat a few grasshoppers than take a bite of a cheeseburger.

    I do not think the world should stop consuming meat, fish, chickens, whatever, I just think we all need to make better choices and animal cruelty needs to be stopped.I seen nothing wrong with hunting an animal and eating/using it for food. Its mass production of animals for food that is unethical in my eyes.

    As for me, I will never eat a mammal, or any bird. To me, they are no different than my lovable family member Bisket. I cannot separate mammals into ones I do eat and ones I don't. I love them all too much.

    Anyway, congrats Shannon and happy animal-free eating! :)

  2. I agree whole heartedly with your comment about loving mammals too much to eat some and not others. Pigs are as smart as toddlers and chickens communicate to their young through the egg shells with special clucks and clicks. I did eat shellfish recently when I was in Seattle because it was a special occasion and all the seafood was locally harvested. I get a hankering for calamari sometimes and if someone put it in front of me I can't guarantee that I won't eat some, but I'm not going to go out of my way to eat seafood/fish. I am mostly not eating seafood/fish due to environmental reasons, but fish feel pain the same way mammals and birds do and also are able to form relationships, feel fear, and do other things I can relate to myself.

    I don't know if I would eat bugs! Probably chocolate covered ones, lol. But if I had the choice of a mango or a grasshopper I'm pretty confident that I would pick the mango.

    I also don't think that humans should stop eating meat, but I think that we should go back to how it was in the 1940s-1950s when meat was reserved for special occasions and eating once or twice a week instead of 3x a day 7 days a week.

    I also feel that food choices are one of the easiest way someone can make a difference environmentally. Picking an organic carrot over a non-organic carrot is easy, not that much more expensive, and will prevent that much more pesticides from entering the soil, air, water, and farmer's lungs.