Saturday, May 10, 2008

The meatrix

The meatrix is a cartoon series based on the Matrix about factory farming of meat and dairy.

Having given up on meat, dairy, wheat, yeast and sugar this week I can say that it is possible to do. I have known for some time that changing to a vegetarian diet would have an impact not only on my health but also on our carbon footprint.

Here are the steps we have taken to get this far :

  • Change from normal milk to organic milk.
  • Check out alternatives (almond, rice, oat and soya milk)
  • Explore other grains than wheat : oats, millet, rice, barley, spelt
  • become aware and ask where your food comes from.
  • Shop local for meat and poultry from sustainable farms you can visit
  • Change from 7 meat meals per week down to 6, then 5,4, 3 until you have 1 meat meal per week.
  • Go to the library to read up on recipes based on vegetarian cooking.
  • have soup for lunch or a rice salad.
  • Trust that your tastebuds will change.
  • Grow salads and vegetables in your garden
  • Grow herbs in your garden to season your food.
  • Eat fruit 3 times per day to enable your body to get used to natural sugars instead of artificial ones.
  • Eat seasonally and locally produced food.
This is not about going hungry. Until recently I was unaware that the food we ate was nutritionally deficient making our bodies want more and instant fixes of sugar as this is quickly absorbed into the body.

After a week, I can eat strawberries without sugar and cream, icecream or yoghurt and they taste of strawberries.

Fresh food requires no refrigeration, can be eaten straight from the garden and waste is reduced or composted easily.

Sample menu today :

oat cereal with fresh strawberries and rice milk
mid morning snack - banana and herbal tea
lunch - rice salad : rice, grated carrot, grated courgette, raisins, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chopped herbs, olive oil and lemon juice, black pepper.
afternoon snack- apple and herbal tea
dinner: roasted vegetables on quinoa fussili
evening snack - herbal drink

A few months ago I would not have managed this but reducing consumption of meat and dairy is possible slowly. This is not an entirely local diet but in time further changes will be made.

Some good resources are :
Barbara Cousins - Cooking without made easy
Lizee McGraw - Energy on a plate


Irish Sallygardens said...

I applaud your change in eating habits, it's a fantastic achievement to be proud of. I'm sure you'll enjoy your food so much more now.

Since we began growing all our own food we eat far far less meat. Chicken is really only for special occasions because it's preparation is long and tiring, both physically and emotionally. Yesterday ate two roosters which we'd been preparing for 2 days! Killed day one, hung 24 hours. Day two at 4pm plucked, gutted and cooked ... meal (coq au vin) ready at 11pm !!!! Leftovers will make soup for today, day three.

It's not something you'd do every weekend, indeed we probably have roast chicken once every couple of months.

Sharon J said...

Well done on lowering your meat consumption so radically. I also try to eat less meat and as a result am now padding out minced meat as much as possible too. I'm quite proud that I can now provide 3-4 meals for 2 adults out of 1/2 kilo of mince and there's generally some left-overs for a quick lunch too. I rarely buy meat that isn't locally produced either.