|newspaper | photo: mconnors|
Well, it's Monday. For growing numbers of people that means it's Meatless Monday. Choosing to eat a meatless meal one day a week can have a positive environmental impact. The Environmental Working Group has produced a brochure called Meat Eaters Guide To Climate Change and Health. It raises some interesting points including the fact that uneaten meat is responsible for 20% of greenhouse gases. That ties in pretty heavily to Jonathan Bloom's latest column about not wasting meat. Definitely something to think about when you're planning dinner.
Pi Day is coming. For the geeks among us it's a fun celebration. 3.14159 is as far as I remember the value of Pi. So this Wednesday, celebrate and have some pie. I'm not sure what kind I'm going to make yet but I do know I'm going to be using my newfound perfect piecrust recipe. Remember, it doesn't have to be sweet to be a pie, savory pies count too.
Ag Gag Rules - Apparently Iowa would rather consumers not know what really goes on in commercial agricultural operations. They've just passed a bill, about to be signed into law by the Governor, that will allow for stiff punishment for anyone attempting to film operations without the owners permission. Given the many videos that have come out of such efforts which show inhumane and in some cases barbaric treatment of these animals I can understand why the industry doesn't want them filmed. It makes them look bad. What I don't understand is why there is no big push to stop this behavior. Instead of hiding it in the dark so consumers can see it, I believe our food system should be openly viewed by all so that consumers can understand where their food comes from and how it is produced.
Meat Nutrition Labeling - turns out that last week the USDA's required meat nutrition labeling started. I suppose it's not a bad thing to have labels on the meat letting folks know how much is a serving and what the nutrition breakdown is. But this label isn't complete. In my opinion it would be better if it also let you know how the animal was raised. What it was fed. How much antibiotics were given to the animal during it's lifetime. How much hormone? These are all important factors that affect the quality of the meat but, more importantly, the health of the animal; ultimately that translates to your health.
Edible Packaging - Being touted as a possible way to reduce or eliminate plastic waste I think this has the potential to be a good idea. Some of the challenges as I see it: (a) are you really going to want to eat off the shelf edible containers after they've sat in the dust and been handled by who knows how many people? (b) what exactly is the edible substance made from? I'm not convinced that it won't be another suspicious food waste product disguised as GRAS (c) will people really eat it? I suppose if they don't the hope is that it will be biodegradable and break down more fully.
Tony Geraci is on a mission to reform school food and create a model that school cafeteria's all across the country can follow. Can't wait to see this film.