I read somewhere, probably on a blog so you know it is true, accurate and well researched like wikipedia, that eating a vegetarian diet would decrease my carbon footprint more than getting a hybrid car. Since I'm not getting a hybrid car and have increased my daily total commute from 0 to 93 miles, I'm trying to eat less and less meat, especially beef and pork.
The decrease in meat started a while ago and was helped along by a bad gall bladder. The gall bladder recently came out and the world of fatty meaty foods including fatty meats re-opened to me. And yet, even without the threat of extreme pain and the potential of pooping my pants, I still don't want to return to the days of my youth when redmeat was a large part of my diet. I just don't see the need.
Meat takes up too many resources that could be better spent. Industrially produced meat with the hormones and antibiotics and inhumane (imbovine? imporcine?) treatment of the animals appalls me anyway. For years my meat consumption has been largely free-range, antibiotic free, hormone free etc. This includes wild game and wild fish. There has been the occasional fish from a stocked pond or the regretful farm raised salmon. But for the most part I've applied pretty strong ethics to my meat consumption.
Keeping it going should not be too challenging. I've found a source for local free range buffalo who are given meds only when they are actually ill and the farmer can't remember when the last time that happened. When I called to ask if they were free range, his wife answered the question with "well, the field IS fenced." That's OK. It's not like they are stuck in a barn and artificially inseminated, spending years standing in their own poo on a hard surface without sun. The meat is not too expensive and is very good, stores well, cooks well. I need to order another 40pounds. That is the downside...it comes in large quantities. I haven't found a good source for local free range chicken or turkey so am still buying a bit of that from the Moscow Food Co-op in Moscow, Idaho. It's spendy, but with the reduced consumption, it can be done.
To keep the meat consumption low, I'm trying to start with 2 totally vegan days per week. No dairy (not a problem as it gives me sinus infections), no eggs, no nothing. I think I did it yesterday with a tofu salad sandwich for lunch and a collard-potato-tomato saute for supper. I forget what breakfast was but I'm sure it was fine .... OOPS! It was a chocolate croissant made with butter. So much for the vegan. I guess I need to try again. I already had tuna for lunch so today is out. Must remember to bring beans and rice for lunch tomorrow.
Anyway, the lower meat consumption also means more fruit and veg. I used to rot those in the veggie draw then throw it out. I no longer use veggie drawers for anything other than my vermicompost (and that's not in the refrigerator). I know this is obvious, but I also discovered that if I prep the more labor intensive fruit in a big batch, I eat more of it. When the neighbor gave me the pounds of fruit last week, I made melon salad with orange juice and a bit of sugar. I ate about 8 cups in 2 days because it was easy. I made some more last night when I got home from groceries and have already eaten 4 cups. When I get strawberries I cut them up and freeze individual servings for smoothies. Those get eaten more and with less sugar than previously.
Any fruit that doesn't need processing stays on the counter in plain sight. If I'm staring at it, I'm more likely to eat it.
So far this is working.
I've been using vegweb.com for recipes and nutritiondata.com to make sure I'm getting my nutrients and not eating to many calories per day.