Food. It’s kind of a big deal. It shapes entire cultures, has to power to change the way we feel about ourselves, and has a major impact on both the economy and the environment. We are driven to make the best choices we can when it comes to food, and this leads a lot of people to vegetarianism. Eating this way is often lighter on the planet and better for you than conventional diets, so I’m all for it. But the purpose of my post is to mention an alternative that is equally positive and dare I say, more exciting- educated omnivorism.
Being an educated omnivore involves knowing about where your food comes from and making choices based on your values- a lot like vegetarianism, but more open minded.. This savvy breed of eater tends to consume a balanced diet, with as much local, organic, fair trade, or otherwise good produce and products as they can obtain. When it comes to eating meat, as with all other foods, they make sure that it is produced in ways that align with their values. Here are some examples of meat an educated omnivore might choose:
- Grass fed beef from a local rancher (meeting the cow optional)
- Trout caught by a friend when they went on a fishing trip
- Christmas turkeys raised in your backyard
- Pole and Line tuna (caught without drag nets)
- Pork from farms that use permaculture methods (see first link below)
I know an educated omnivore that only eats an animal when she or someone in her family has killed it. This is her own way of making the best choices for herself and the environment, without limiting herself to a vegetarian diet. 100 Mile House, B.C., the magical land that I hail from, is an impractical place to be a vegetarian, because there is local beef raised on every corner! Educated vegetarianism is also important, as there are many social and environmental issues with with modern agriculture.. Soy, for example, is one of the most destructively produced crops in the world today. No matter what your diet is, there is still choices to be made.
Educated omnivorism is something that everyone should take to heart. All it takes is some interest and a dash of effort to find out how the food you are eating affects the world around you, Making better choices when it comes to food is more than just eating less meat.
On eating meat the right way:
An interesting discussion on meat vs. no meat: