I came across this Eating Green Calculator from @TakePart on Twitter. I should have remembered that ‘eating green’ can mean more than eating responsibly. They are using their calculator to discourage meat and animal products (cheese, eggs) and encourage the eating of greens…vegetables.
I’ve got nothing against vegetables. We grow a fairly large garden every year, we support our local farmers’ market, and eat as much (or quite likely, more) healthy green stuff than most families do.
However, we like our meat and animal products and believe they are suitable and healthy foods to incorporate into our diets. What the above calculator fails to take into account is where the meat and meat products come from.
Beef? Our own farm. No growth hormones, no genetically modified feeds, nothing but natural grass and dried natural grass.
Chicken? Grown by a local grower, whose chickens run around outside and eat bugs and scraps. (Ditto for the eggs in our diet, though a different local grower.)
Pork? Bought from a local butcher shop that buys the cleanest meat they can find. And make the best double-smoked bacon, I might add. (We can also get bison there, and various sausages, and beef when needed.)
Cheese: About half of the cheese we consume is local organic cheese. And delicious.
Milk and Yogurt: Our biggest failing, but not from lack of desire. More like Canada’s regulations that make it difficult to find/purchase legal local milk, but our cheese producer is working on this option.
So the calculator only suggests you replace some or all of your meat and animal product servings with fruit, vegetables, beans, and grain. It gives no credit with where the meat products come from and assumes that all non-meat commercially available foods are grown more responsibly than meat. As if!
They say it takes so much fertilizer and pesticides to grow this meat. Not if it’s done organically/sustainably. They say how many pounds of manure are produced like it’s a bad thing. Hello! It goes back on the fields and garden and provides nutritious, friable soil.
Certainly, put more green in your diet. But pay more attention to where the food on your plate comes from than simply the color of it. Eat balanced! But definitely…eat healthy.