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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

and having gotten through the editorial no doubt I must have frowned

Name that song! And once you've googled it, go and listen to it. It's a great song.

Once upon a time, a year or two before we moved here from Lehi, I was toodling around on the internet, watching Strong Bad emails, searching on the MLS for houses with acreage, and I came across an article written by a journalist who had purchased a calf in hope of following its path from pasture to plate. It was both riveting and revolting. When I finished reading I was so shocked and educated that I decided that feedlot beef could no longer be part of our regular diet. But hark! Luckily, I am the granddaughter of cattle ranchers on two sides, so I called my dad, told him of my concerns, and asked how I could get some grass-fed beef from my grandpa. And this is when my dad and I had our first disagreement about food. Because corn is what makes the beef fatty and juicy, which is the taste Americans have come to know and love over many years. Grass-fed beef is a good deal tougher. My dad didn't understand why I would want that, and I know he was suspicious of the assertion that corn-fed beef is partly-to-mostly responsible for a panoply of maladies that are being visited upon us; superbugs, water pollution, obesity, heart disease, locusts, blood rain . . . the list goes on.

My path to being a boring food scold didn't start with that article, but it certainly gave me velocity and intensity, and what I can't suitably explain to my family is that when I read something like The Omnivore's Dilemma, or watch King Corn, or walk down the aisles of shelf-stable food at the supermarket, the place my brain goes to--immediately--is The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. To a world so toxic that there is no remaining plant or animal life, other than humans in various stages of starvation, searching for increasingly scarce canned goods and hiding from the marauding bloodcults who roam in packs, raping and torturing and devouring, literally eating, anyone they find. This is the only logical endpoint I see for a civilization that refuses to live sustainably, feeding cows grass, chickens and pigs grain, and people food.

But like all humans, I am weak and inconstant, and I recognize that my lecturing and pearl-clutching is both off-putting and hypocritical. My poor family is so tired of talking to me. So I'm sorry, dear readers, that this is another tributary of my Rome topic (as in, all topics lead to this one) of The Law of the Harvest (not the one where the Master escapes and opens the Hellmouth, but the interpretation of "you reap what you sow"). But I figure you've had opportunities aplenty to bail, so if you're still here you must like hearing my voice almost as much as I do.

7 comments:

Claire said...

Did you watch Oprah yesterday?

Layne said...

Have we met? No.

Hee. What was it about?

tipsybaker said...

The guy building us a new bookshelf was telling me about Oprah this morning. The show was about food. Pollan was on, and so was Alicia Silverstone who is apparently a near-vegan now.

Bamamoma said...

So here is my current dilemma. I have two focuses right now: 1) healthier foods 2) cheaper foods. I know, you are ready to tell me about getting chickens and growing a garden. I'm not quite ready for that yet. So, what is a girl to do? It seems that all the coupon deals are for the worst of the worst foods - never fresh foods. Any suggestions (other than the aforementioned)?

Layne said...

Oh, groan. Alicia Silverstone. I will not listen to people who want me to think that eating meat is immoral. The way we currently treat meat is immoral; eating it is not.

Layne said...

Bamamoma--when healthy and cheap are fighting, let healthy win. Actually--I can email you a good list of advice.

Claire said...

yeah. e-mail it to me, too.