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02-02-2010
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How to eat less meat
I thought it would be nice to have a thread for omnivores who want to eat less meat, for health, ethical, or environmental reasons--or really any reason at all!

Please share recipes, menu ideas, cooking tips, tips for shopping for non-factory farmed meat, and whatever else you feel like sharing

Today I had a meat-free day ... I made blackberry crisp for breakfast, tostadas with mashed pintos (made from scratch with onions and lots of spices), green onion, pineapple salsa, and shredded jack for lunch, and mushroom bourguignon over egg noodles for dinner (recipe: http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/01/mushroom-bourguignon/).

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02-02-2010
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Is this an omnivore thread only?

Personally, I have been going back and forth between veganism and pescestarianism. I've read some things about being a pesccetarian and if I was personally unable to give up meat, I would definitely choose fish.

Quote:
One of the most commonly cited reasons is that of health, based on findings that red meat is detrimental to health in many cases due to non-lean red meats containing high amounts of saturated fats. Furthermore, eating certain kinds of fish raises HDL levels, and some fish are a convenient source of omega-3 fatty acids, and have numerous health benefits in one food variety.

On the other hand, there have been concerns cited about consuming large quantities of some fish varieties due to their containing toxins such as mercury and PCBs, though it is possible to select fish that contain little or no mercury and moderate the consumption of mercury-containing fish.
Wikipedia

Considering eating sushi is probably the only time I would eat raw fish, I find that to be a good way to eat less meat. As far as tuna from a can, that wouldn't count since it literally DROWNS in mayonnaise.

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02-02-2010
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Sushi is delish. I eat it all the time. I basically eat everything except pork & alcohol. I'm an avid meat eater, so I wouldn't really reduce the amount I eat rather eat more of quality, lean meat like chicken, seafood, etc.Of course I like to balance out my food groups between my proteins, vegetables, fruits, grains.

As for ethical meat (I guess you would call it), many kosher & halal stores sell meat that is slaughtered in a well manner. By that I mean they do their best to cause minimal pain to the animal itself.

For someone who wants to fully eliminate meat but still enjoys a full meal & wants their daily protein intake, I would suggest using hearty vegetables such as eggplant, chickpeas & squash when cooking dishes like soups & stews. Beans, grains, nuts, seed are all good sources of protein & other nutrients.

Personally, I could never go fully vegan so I totally respect those who can restrain a good slab of steak, haha.

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02-02-2010
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Quote:
As for ethical meat (I guess you would call it), many kosher & halal stores sell meat that is slaughtered in a well manner. By that I mean they do their best to cause minimal pain to the animal itself.
True, true. I told my father that I would wholeheartedly go back to eating meat if I were to raise my own cows, chickens and livestock and "prepared" them myself.

My brother says that apparently the gangly chicken you get from KFC is due to ill-treatment of the chickens. Does the label "organic" on a package of meat mean the animal hadn't been treated with hormones and steroids? Or, is it the "free-range" sticker that means that?

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02-02-2010
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i have severe nutritional deficiencies, so i can't stop eating meat.

i do however eat a lot of fun meat like products.

i like products by gardenburger that mimic meat.

i also buy textured vegetable protein and make meatballs, spaghetti bolognese, taco fillings etc with it.

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02-02-2010
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I don't eat a lot of red meat, I'm just not a fan of it. When I do eat meat (or poultry, whatever ) I eat chicken and turkey, ocasionally pork. I actually prefer using ground turkey to ground beef.

Sushi is my favourite thing in the entire world!! I also love salmon.

I'm going to try to start doing "meat less mondays" from now on.

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02-02-2010
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How to eat less meat: just DON'T.It's not healthy for you or the planet.It's that simple.

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02-02-2010
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i'm a pescetarian in college, and i find it to be very easy to find lots of substitutes for meat everywhere. i eat a ton of beans and tofu, and when i find good sources, shrimp. i don't like regular fish like salmon, flounder, etc., but i do eat shellfish so i still consider myself a pescetarian. i would definitely recommend if you will be drinking a lot more alcohol and looking for a healthy way to cut some calories and eat a cleaner diet (minus the poison alcohol, of course. :/) it's much easier than you may think to get protein!

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03-02-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papa_levante View Post
True, true. I told my father that I would wholeheartedly go back to eating meat if I were to raise my own cows, chickens and livestock and "prepared" them myself.

My brother says that apparently the gangly chicken you get from KFC is due to ill-treatment of the chickens. Does the label "organic" on a package of meat mean the animal hadn't been treated with hormones and steroids? Or, is it the "free-range" sticker that means that?
Yes, that is part of what organic means.

Free range has to do with the animal being free to go where it wants outside.

There have been multiple celebrities who've switched to fish and gotten mercury poisoning ... it seems to be rather easy to do if you eat fish quite regularly. I've also heard reports that mercury levels are actually several times what government guidelines say they are. I'm not a big fish lover (just tuna, shellfish), so I feel pretty safe.

IMO, generally speaking, buying cheap meat and eggs is the worst possible way to go. Many chickens are calcium deficient ... you can see this in thin eggshells and broken bones. I recently went to WingStop (something I do only once in a blue moon, and now, never again), got an order of wings, and at least three had broken bones. Clearly they are buying the cheapest of the cheap ...

I don't buy beef; instead I buy bison. My understanding is that buffalo cannot be 'farmed.' I've been told that the herd the meat is from ranges across a significant geographic area. Grass-fed meat, of course, is better for you than corn-fed, factory-farmed meat (how corn-fed came to be viewed as something positive is beyond me ), and wild is best of all. True of anything--berries, meat, what have you. I suppose there is a slight downside in that you don't have control of the environment ... some of what they're eating may have pesticide residue. But regardless, I still like this choice better than anything farmed.

So tell me about 'meatless Mondays' ... Belowen in Australia mentioned them, and alacrity, you're in Canada ... I haven't heard of this, have I been under a rock?

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03-02-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucy92 View Post
i have severe nutritional deficiencies, so i can't stop eating meat.

i do however eat a lot of fun meat like products.

i like products by gardenburger that mimic meat.

i also buy textured vegetable protein and make meatballs, spaghetti bolognese, taco fillings etc with it.
Your post reminded me of the veggie burgers I ate as a child. My parents belonged to a coop that got its stuff from Adventists. They sold a boxed veggie burger mix that was quite delicious, and as I recall, was grain- and seed-based. Does anyone know where to get this mix, or a recipe for it?

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03-02-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fashionista-ta View Post
So tell me about 'meatless Mondays' ... Belowen in Australia mentioned them, and alacrity, you're in Canada ... I haven't heard of this, have I been under a rock?
Ta-Ta, Meat Free Monday is basically a movement started by Paul McCartney and his children, in an effort to get people all around the world to go meat-free every Monday in an effort to help the planet and the climate.

Quote:
Meat Free Monday is an environmental campaign to raise awareness of the climate-changing impact of meat production and consumption. Many people are unaware that livestock production is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions – that’s more than the entire transport sector.
You can read more on the website here

Francis and I are trying it out this year. A lot of people think that it's this huge deal or a big struggle but it's actually been a fun little challenge for me so far, and quite enlightening!

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03-02-2010
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BTW eating fish isn't always the answer either, I watched a documentary on the effect that fish farming is having on our environment & climate and it was quite shocking. People seem to think there are endless supplies of fish in the sea, but there aren't.

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03-02-2010
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^it isn't really. i think compensating one for the other isn't always the healthiest or best for the environment either. i think the basic point is either try and do things on more of a balance rather than omitting one particular thing altogether or just going vegan and substituting meat with beans,tofu,nuts etc.

the thing for me is that in america so much of what is fresh,organic and not over-processed tends to be quite expensive for people on a budget. just like you were alluding to ta-ta,the corn-fed cattle and the antibiotic injected poultry was only ever created by companies to make things cheaper more adaptable to mass market. the sad thing is,even with so much revelation about what that has done to not only our health as a nation but the welfare of the animals overall,they still ignore it.

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03-02-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott View Post
^it isn't really. i think compensating one for the other isn't always the healthiest or best for the environment either. i think the basic point is either try and do things on more of a balance rather than omitting one particular thing altogether or just going vegan and substituting meat with beans,tofu,nuts etc.

the thing for me is that in america so much of what is fresh,organic and not over-processed tends to be quite expensive for people on a budget. just like you were alluding to ta-ta,the corn-fed cattle and the antibiotic injected poultry was only ever created by companies to make things cheaper more adaptable to mass market. the sad thing is,even with so much revelation about what that has done to not only our health as a nation but the welfare of the animals overall,they still ignore it.
Agreed ... there seems to be this belief that if something doesn't kill you immediately, well, it must be OK. C'mon people, even a nuclear blast doesn't kill everyone immediately ...

Organic dry beans are a really nice cheap option ... and with plenty of spices (also cheap in small amounts in the bulk section ... for $1 you can have a nice selection) you don't really need any meat. But a few strips of bacon also go a long way. I get uncured smoked Pederson bacon that is really delicious. They don't raise their own animals, but buy from small farms, all of which are certified humane (http://pedersonsfarms.com/open/index...faq&Itemid=105). Everything is hormone and antibiotic free. You can shop online--I would assume US only?

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03-02-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belowen View Post
Ta-Ta, Meat Free Monday is basically a movement started by Paul McCartney and his children, in an effort to get people all around the world to go meat-free every Monday in an effort to help the planet and the climate.



You can read more on the website here

Francis and I are trying it out this year. A lot of people think that it's this huge deal or a big struggle but it's actually been a fun little challenge for me so far, and quite enlightening!
Thanks for the info I guess I have to give up my illusions of having a direct line to Paul McCartney now

What I do is shoot for two meat-free meals a day (one being breakfast). I always cook for leftovers, so typically have one meat dish and one non ... though at the moment, both are meat-free.

The other thing, Scott, is that often-repeated recommendation to use meat as a 'condiment' ... for some reason I find that word in relation to meat annoying

But recently I bought about half a pound of ground bison and split it in half. Half I cooked & put into several servings of macaroni & cheese, and the other half I cooked & used to doctor bottled spaghetti sauce, which went over several servings of stuffed shells. At a restaurant, all of that could easily have gone into one burger ...

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