Monday, January 31, 2011

Meat (Sort of) And Farmworkers to Farmers

Two recent posts on Grist caught my attention and inspired some thoughts. The first is this piece on Taco Bell's lack of meat in their... meat.

The funny thing is that people are upset about Taco Bell's not using enough meat instead of praising them for using less. Yeah it's duplicitous to say something (oats and wheat) is what it isn't (dead cows), but let's not forget that factory farmed animal flesh is one of the leading causes of climate change.

Great thinkers on food from Thomas Jefferson to Mark Bittman all advise us to use meat as a seasoning rather than the main event, so isn't Taco Bell tricking people into eating less meat just like Jessica Seinfeld duping kids into eating spinach brownies? The right deed for the wrong reason? All's well that ends well? And other literary references?

This other piece shows the success of one program in helping farmworkers become actual farmers. That four letter difference translates to a tremendous change in quality of life and could not exist without the growth of farmers markets and CSA programs. More proof that the local foods movement has teeth as a vehicle for change and isn't just an arugula cult.

Though I LOVE arugula. And if you don't, you're a monster.

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Anonymous said...

ok, but a question. Coca Cola is bad for you. But Diet Coke is worse for you because of all the dangerous chemicals they put it in it (in full disclosure: I drink Diet Coke at least for right now). So all of this "seasoning" in the Taco Bell stuff: isn't it chemical-ish stuff that is really bad for a person's body (and possibly just as bad for the environment as beef?

-Andrew Slack

Anonymous said...

Both valid points, Andrew and Aaron. Yes, good for folks to eat less factory-farmed beef. Yes, bad for folks to eat more highly-processed additives that correlate to horrible health outcomes and terminal illnesses. Bottom line: eat less (read: eat NO MORE) Taco Bell and other alike foodstuffs. It's bad for you and for the planet any way you slice it. Same goes for the coke vs. diet coke debate - the answer is not to drink whichever is the slightly less horrible of those evil twins. Just drink apple cider and spinach puree instead. We don't always have the ability to of opt out of a complicated ethical dilemma, but in the case of fast food and Coca Cola, fortunately, we do. -ELISE

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