The Eat with Care blog
Writing on humane farming issues by Caroline Abels, founder of Humaneitarian.
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My local NPR station had a call-in show recently on “holiday etiquette,” complete with etiquette experts, so I posted a question for their guests to answer: “I try very hard to eat only humanely raised meat. Is it rude to ask a host where the meat came from or how it was raised?”
Before I tell you the responses of the two etiquette experts from the Emily Post Institute in Burlington, Vermont, I’m curious to know if you’ve ever been [...]
Order early. Order early. Order early!
I write this three times because if you want to order a pastured turkey, small farms tend to sell out early, so mind the calendar — and pick up that phone!
Actually, wait. Before you pick up the phone, decide if you want a pasture-raised turkey or not. As you might know, turkeys evolved in the wild, where they could run around, flap their wings, eat insects, breathe fresh air, and nest in trees. On pasture-based [...]
As the tired masses yearning to breathe free — or just yearning to breathe some fresh air and get off the highway — staggered into the Milford, Connecticut rest stop along I-95 northbound recently, most of them headed towards the McDonald’s or the Sbarro, hungry lemmings about to jump off a cliff of grease, fat, and factory farmed meat.
But my friend Gerry and I, we knew better. We turned left and kept walking, towards a corner of the rest stop dining [...]
It’s easy to get the impression that the Humane Society of the United States doesn’t really have a taste for meat.
On its website, you don’t see recipes for barbecued pasture-raised pork, grass-fed beef stew, or free-range roast chicken — which would indicate that the country’s most effective group working to end factory farm abuse supports humane animal farming. Instead, their page on humane eating introduces you to Meatless Mondays and a Guide to Meat-Free Meals. Other links take you to [...]
The two most delightful phrases in animal agriculture. They conjur images of cows cavorting through fields, pigs let loose in the woods, lambs bouncing across hillsides… bliss.
Cut to the supermarket. A busy Tuesday evening — not so blissful. You’re in an enlightened store (Whole Foods? Your local food co-op?) that sells both pasture-raised and grass-fed steak. You know that these two options are a huge improvement over factory farmed steak, but which should you buy?
Cut to your local farmers’ [...]
As the leaves in Vermont infuse with fall color, I thought I’d collect “Humane on the Brain” posts from this spring and summer and share them here, for those of you not on Facebook, or in case you missed them there. These occasional posts — snapshot stories and reflections — are meant to bring the concept of humane meat eating down to a human level, as I try — as you might be doing — to eat humanely.
When you find yourself in a new town – on a business trip, a vacation, or you’ve moved — chances are you don’t even know where the post office is, let alone a store that sells grass-fed steak. It can be a challenge to eat humanely on the road. But a new smartphone app will help you find grocery stores where you can buy meat that’s been certified for humane treatment. And another new app can help you figure out meat labels once you’re in [...]
If you’re eager to eat more humanely raised meat but your local grocery store doesn’t carry it (or doesn’t carry enough of it), Humaneitarian’s new “grocer request cards” might be of help. Simply print them out at home, fold and tear them in half, fill ‘em out according to what you’d like the store to carry, and hand the card to a store manager in the meat department (or put it in the store’s comment box).
If you’re not sure what you want the store to [...]
I usually walk into a restaurant preparing for a friendly but awkward interrogation of the waitstaff. I know I’ll be asking them where the chicken came from, if the beef was 100% grass-fed, how the pigs were raised… and usually they’ll have to go ask the chef. Once, my questions sent a poor waitress back to the kitchen three times! When I apologized, she said, “No worries, I’m a vegetarian, I totally understand.”
No such worries at Grazin’, a diner in Hudson, [...]
I thought it worthwhile to share part of an article by Virginia farmer Forrest Pritchard, titled ”Why I Can’t Raise a $1 Cheeseburger.” The article is unique because the farmer opens his books and shares actual dollar figures to show why he has to charge, on average, $5.25/lb. for his grass-fed/grass-finished beef, compared to the $3/lb., on average, that’s charged for grain-fed beef in supermarkets. Here’s Forrest:
“To raise one grass-finished steer requires two full years. It starts with a momma cow, who has [...]