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December 5, 2008

omnivoresdilemma_med So I’ve been reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma (and prior to that I read Julia’s Kitchen). I’m on a food kick.

The book is hard to read without wanting to make serious changes in the way I eat. Actually, it’s hard to read and not want to make changes in the way we all eat.

A few thoughts I’ve had since starting it…

Eating factory farmed meats, milks, and eggs is just not worth it. I don’t care how much more those things cost from a smaller or local farm (organic won’t do it…lots of organic is factory farmed too). If I have to eat less eggs, but make them count, that’s what I’ll do. The real cost of those items: in taxpayer subsidies, in environmental destruction, in the way they feed and medicate the animals. It’s just disgusting.

There is information about dairy here. If you are looking for grocery store milk, there are some major dairy producers (Clover, Whole Foods, Sunnyside Farms) that are good about purchasing their organic milk from smaller, family farms. Clover and Sunnyside are also relatively local if you live in Northern California.

I splurged and bought organic eggs from farmers market last weekend. For $5 a dozen, the eggs were huge (jumbo actually), I needed to use less of them in recipes, and they taste awesome. Also, $5 a week on eggs isn’t really all that insane. And I’d really like to get some chickens now that we are back in town, so hopefully that will offset that cost.

Eat Wild has maps that will help you find grass-fed meat, eggs and dairy.

Another thing that’s come up for me so far is why I ever started eating processed corn again (high fructose corn syrup, primarily). I cut it out for a few months last year and felt so so much healthier. It’s in almost everything processed, so it really forces you to eat more whole foods. And that’s probably not a bad thing. The Washington Post wrote a short article on why corn syrup is as bad for the environment as it is for your body.

I’m sure I will find more to say about all of this, but that’s a start…

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Tom Reed permalink
    December 5, 2008 6:49 am

    Hey Katie,

    Cool blog (just found it on your Yelp profile).

    Omnivore’s Dilemma was an eye opener for me as well–really just confirmed everything I already suspected. FYI, I went to a Slow Food event @ 3 years ago at Big Bluff Ranch just west of Red Bluff. It’s an amazing, undulating, oak and manzanita studded ranch that produces very good grassfed beef and lamb. They sell it weekly alternating between Farmer’s Mkts. in Chico and Redding.

    To help maintain the inertia of your “food kick”, here is my short list of foodie must-reads:

    “Heat” by Bill Buford

    “The United States of Arugula–How we became a gourmet nation” by David Kamp

    “Kitchen Confidential” by Anthony Bourdain (Will completely put the ky-bosh any desire to own your own restaurant…both hysterical and troubling)

    Glad you’re back…looking forward to more reviews.


  2. December 5, 2008 3:56 pm

    This book seems to be alot like the book you are reading: Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating by Jane Goodall
    It’s my mom’s favorite book in the whole world- she only eats grass fed and free range after that book.
    Another important thing never never to eat farmed is salmon. It should always be wild caught.
    My parents have chickens and you can have some, but they are small and the egg laying is not consistent.

  3. December 5, 2008 3:57 pm

    ps. next time you come to Davis…they sell local free-range chicken eggs at the Co-op for like $1.80 for half dozen..those are the ones I always buy

  4. inoakpark permalink*
    December 8, 2008 2:15 am

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    Tom–I started my food kick specifically reading about local foods (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Gary Nabhan’s book, the name of which escapes me right now, etc). Omnivore’s Dilemma is the first that really outlines the larger problems in our food system and the political history behind it. My husband just signed me up for Eco Farm in Monterey area next month, so that’s sure to keep the food kick going.

    I’ve been wanting to read Kitchen Confidential. I should find it…though I have about zero interest in opening a restaurant. I know too many people in the industry. Their lives are crazy (I’m in the process of trying to lessen the crazy in my life).

  5. December 19, 2008 4:25 pm

    Great books! I also just read In Defense of Food, and it has motivated me to look for some local producers. Thank you so much for publishing the link for finding local farms … very helpful, and there’s a few around the Kansas City area!

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