Friday, February 22, 2008

Why I became a "vegetable - tarian"

I have a friend who has a niece that refers to people who eat nothing but vegetables as "vegetable - tarians", that is how she now refers to me. About a month ago I decided to transition from being a semi-vegetarian to being a vegetarian.

I had been thinking about becoming a vegetarian for quite some time but I suppose I needed something to push me over the edge. That thing was an announcement last month by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that cloned meat would be entering the food supply at some unspecified time in the near future. They also announced that cloned meat would not be labeled as such.

I refuse to be a guinea pig for corporate meat producers and the FDA.

I am also a very picky vegetarian because of the influx of food from China and Mexico. Food items from these countries have been reported to be substandard and potentially harmful to humans for a variety of different reasons. One thing I have heard is that it is a common practice in Mexico to use human waste as a fertilizer.

So now I do not purchase food from those countries and also avoid food that is not labeled with its country of origin. This is a problem when shopping in most commercial food markets since many times they don't label their fruits and vegetables with the country they are grown.

I do most of my shopping now at a specialty market that gets most of its fruit and vegetables from within a few hundred miles. And they clearly label the origin of food grown outside of the U.S. I also shop at a few different local farmers’ markets.

I have even had to be very careful when buying fruit juice since a lot of fruits used to make commercial juice are grown in China. This is sometimes a problem because a lot of juices do not label the origin of the fruit used in the juice.

All of this might seem like a lot to go through but to me it's worth the trouble, I don't want to find out in five or ten years that food I have eaten was not safe and is likely to make me sick in the future.

The U.S. has allowed food safety to take a backseat to corporate profit. That is totally unacceptable. I hope food safety becomes an issue this election season.


Do you worry about food safety?

Are you concerned about food grown in China?

14 comments:

Tami said...

MDC,

I really admire you for taking control of your health and safety by monitoring your meat and food consumption. I have read Food Revolution, Diet for a Small Planet and Diet for a New America--all great resources by the way--and I believe that eating little to no meat, and eating locally as much as possible, is healthier, better for the environment, and more humane. Here's the problem--I have tried to make the transition to vegetarianism and I have failed at least twice. Can you share a little about how you first transitioned? Were you a big meat eater to begin with? how did you deal with cravings?

I've been thinking about hosting read-a-longs on my blog. Just not sure how it would work. And I gave serious thought to focusing on one of the books above.

T.I.C. said...

I do. Most people don't give it a second thought, mainly because of the life styles we live. Always on the go, instant this, instant that. We want everything fast, now, I've got to go. I try to buy all of my fruits and vegtables from the farmers market from locally grown farmers. Thanks for the heads up on thinking about the fruits and vegtables in the juices we purchase. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

T.I.C. said...

I love your blog. The way you use photos through out your blog. I'm new at this but I'm inspired to learn more just from looking at your screens. You always have food for thought!

supreme1 said...

You are absoutley right. I don't buy any food from China and I try and buy food grown within in my state as much as I can. It takes me a very long time to shop since I have to read everything. These meat companies have long been selling "downed" animals and frankly I was surprised they let this out. You can check a sight call www.notmilk.com if you like. Very interesting info here.

Nick said...

I don't worry about food safety over much, it's impossible to know where everything comes from and how exactly it was produced. I'm a vegetarian too so one thing I never eat is meat or fish, which avoids all the dodgy aspects of meat production. I certainly try to buy food that's produced locally and not thousands of miles away, but that's not always possible. There ain't no bananas in Northern Ireland!!

Afrodite said...

I don't think I'm as worried as I should be but that cloned meat is some bullshit!

I went to go see Katt Willams this past weekend and he was talking about it. He had us weak!

Professor Tracey said...

MDC -

I gotta hand it to you. I was starting to pay attention when you started pointing out issues with meat production a few weeks back, but now you really have my attention. Thanks for spreading the word. This is an excellent regular subject matter on your blog.

Anali said...

I do worry about food safety. I eat meat, but no mammals, just poultry and seafood. I do try to eat a lot of vegetables. I'm making vegetable soup right now actually.

When I started learning about the problems with mercury in farmed fish, I made sure not to buy anymore. I do try to find the country of origin too, because of the issues with food in China. It really is difficult though and I'm sure that I'm not catching it all. There's also the issue of food that's been genetically modified and that is a problem with many vegetables and grains too.

kali said...

Welcome to vegetarianism. I've been a vegetarian for over 12 years now and I do not ever miss meat products.

There are plenty products out that will appease your appetite. Along with fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes, soy is a wonderful thing.

Wishing you much success!!!

Lady Di said...

I stopped eating beef and pork in 2001 in preparation for the "cloned" products being "secretly" placed within "regular" products. I am not sure what the situation is with the poultry and seafood and cloning but I'll have no problem ridding myself of it as well.

MDC, I hope you can keep me posted on how you are doing with the transition and how easy it is for you to find products to live completely meat free. The expenses, the tastes, anything will help.

Thanks for educating the masses as you go.

theblackactor.com said...

SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART SMART

I absolutely worry about the U.S. food supply. I go through great pains (and expense) to eat as healthy as possible. Might not have the latest gear or the best car, but I spend money on food and try, as much as possible to buy locally grown organic produce.

I have at one time or another dibbled dabbled in vegetarianism and veganism. Today, I consider myself a semi-vegetarian. Read The Omnivore's Dilemma and Diet for a New America.

Your conviction is admirable.

Do I worry? Yes. VERY MUCH!

I could go on and on.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Tami,

I did like meat very much but I was turned off even more by cloned meat and other ills associated with eating meat.

So the transition wasn't really that hard. Also I did it over about a 6 month period. I ate meat only about once a week during that time and toward the end I would skip weeks.

For me the idea of corporate America feeding me bad food was really all the imputes I needed.

A read a long would be fun.

And you owe me a gardening post! :)

___________________________________

T.I.C,

I've been weary of fruit juice for a while now. I have been pretty lucky to find brands that use American fruit and label it as such.

And I love farmers' Markets!

Thanks for your kind words about my blog!
___________________________________

Supreme1,
Oh my, it used to take me a long time to shop too. But the market I shop now makes it really easy. Also I don't buy much canned food so that speeds the process too.

I've seen those reports about the sick animals on the news. It's disturbing but not surprising.
___________________________________

Nick,

You know I thought am thinking, about building a greenhouse. I'd love to be able to grow tropical fruit for myself.
___________________________________

Afrodite,

The cloned meat is crazy. It's like we are a science project.
___________________________________

Professor Tracey,

Unfortunately we have to pay close attention to what they are trying to sell us.
___________________________________

Anali,

I have been very concerned about genetically engineered food too. Thankfully I have the farmers' markets.

Those Franken foods are why I don't buy canned goods very much anymore nor eat corn.
___________________________________

Kali,

I have been discovering soy and I love it!

Thanks!
___________________________________

Lady Di,

So far I spend a ton less money. I haven't really missed eating meat at all.

I'll keep you posted! :)
___________________________________

TBA,

Yay you're back! :)

It's good to know that there are other people out there like me who take the time to be concerned.

I am with you on not worrying about the bling aspects of life. What I consume is much more important to me.



___________________________________
___________________________________

Don said...

Mes, are you censoring my comments? LOL. I dont see my comments on this post.

Tsk..tsk..tsk

Mes Deux Cents said...

Don,

Nope; I never censor! You didn't leave a comment on this post fella!

Lol

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About Me

West Coast, United States
African American, Poet?, Vegetarian, Music lover, Agoraphobic, Social Phobic

My Favorite Poet

My Favorite Poet
Staceyann Chin

My Favorite Track Athlete

My Favorite Track Athlete
Christine Arron