Advocacy at Home – Food (Meat)
This advocacy is not about dieting. The mariner mentions dieting up front to be done with it. The United States population eats four times the volume required by Homo sapiens and performs a small fraction of the effort humans were meant to exert; we eat unnatural sugars that must be manufactured to meet our sweetness requirements. On average, we weigh 30% more than we should. Obesity is so common it falls within the standard deviation. Dieting advocacy is the reader’s choice.
Nor is this advocacy about nutrition, though nutrition is the reason food is important. Now, about food:
The mariner became interested in food processing several years ago. What first caught his attention was that people were buying water when they could have it free at home. This did not make sense to him.
Food is an extensive and odd subject. At the center of every food issue is water. In fact, water is at the center of most manufacturing and natural resource issues like fracking but since this advocacy is about food, the mariner will stick to water and food. Food advocacy will be lengthy so there will be more than one post.
First, we must expose the power of suggestion used by food producers. Food producers make food pretty, convenient, and insist that you need to buy their product to be healthy. This is never true. As a sensitivity exercise, the mariner asks that you go to the following website and play the little movie on the right. It is about bottled water.
Does the reader remember the faux pas of the meat companies that produce hamburger? It was commented that “pink slime” was added to improve the taste and texture of the hamburger. Even McDonald’s had to back away from that comment. Many balk at the fact the meat product is sterilized with ammonia. Ammonia was cleared by the FDA forty years ago and is part of everything from cheese to chocolate. If more water is squeezed from pink slime, it becomes 25% of an inexpensive hotdog; ground beef labels can advertise 100% beef with up to 15% pink slime added. There is nothing unhealthy about pink slime in spite of its name – obviously an insider term in the meat industry.
These two examples show how easily we can be influenced when it comes to food. It is likely that evolution made us selective about what we eat, leaving us vulnerable to suggestion. Internet browsers quickly will expose the reader to common ingredients that are much worse in comparison – definitely not a tour for the squeamish.
This post will address home advocacy for meat. The reader likely is aware that meat consumption per person has been rising for decades. From 1951 to 2003, daily meat consumption in the United States rose from 150 grams to 250 grams, a 60% increase. Since 2003, consumption has leveled. It is presumed by the FDA that awareness of a relationship between cancer and red meat, along with an awareness of animal abuse on factory farms, are the primary reasons for lower consumption. Pork is the world’s (and the US) most eaten meat. The mariner posted comments about factory farm abuse in “About Rights” in April. Whether home advocacy includes abstinence because of animal abuse is the reader’s choice. The reader must be prepared to eat fish, shellfish and crickets because all fowl and mammals are abused on factory farms.
It is virtually impossible to avoid entirely a given meat source. How can we make it through Thanksgiving without turkey? And spam – that’s a meat, isn’t it? However, combine the intentional reduction of meat as a source of protein, and an increase of protein from fish, nuts, beans and some dairy, and home advocacy against abuse will happen naturally.
Richard Branson, of all people, campaigns against beef as a food product. His reason: it takes 1,800 gallons of water to make one pound of beef. The same argument could apply to every animal to a lesser degree but cattle have a large footprint when it comes to water consumption and processing.
So we have come back to water. Home advocacy for meat encompasses the following:
Reduce red meat to a minimum in the reader’s diet.
Find a butcher who processes his own meat or better, grows it himself. Much less water will be required and the reader will avoid any additives.
Make seafood the primary protein source.
Don’t eat crickets; they are too much trouble. Eat grasshoppers.