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How to Eat Meat without Destroying the World

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Meat counter Meat eaters can be responsible consumers. (Copyright: racorn/Shutterstock)

Patrick Martins argues that humans have evolved to eat meat. But, given the destructive forces of the fast-food industry and factory farming, we need to make smart, informed choices about the food we eat and where it comes from. In The Carnivore’s Manifesto: Eating Well, Eating Responsibly, and Eating Meat Martins, of Heritage Food USA and founder of Slow Food USA and Heritage Radio, outlines realistic steps everyone can take to be part of the sustainable-food movement.

Turn away from factory farmed meat. Instead of trying to get everyone to become a vegetarian, which is an impossible goal, Martins focuses on improving our food system and getting rid of factory farms. “It’s better to construct an action-based result.” Martins said. “ I believe in creating a solution rather than creating a utopia that will probably never exist.”

Eat meat raised humanely and eat less of it. It is more expensive to raise high-quality meat—pasture raised, antibiotic-free meat that’s slaughtered humanely and treated well, but if you pay more for meat, you’ll probably eat less of it.

Eat more ground meat. When you grind up meat you use more of the animal. Ground meat costs less per-portion than any other cut. When you use ground meat in pasta sauce and when you mix it with vegetables, it goes further. “Italian culture is basically famous for serving very delicious food very cheaply,” Martins said. (Try this recipe from Lidia Bastianich or this one from Mario Batali.)

Shop at more stores, especially local stores. Martins said, “If you’re don’t shop consistently at five places, you’re probably not really part of the sustainable food movement.” When you buy all your food at one store—even if it’s Whole Foods—you’re not supporting the food community as well as you could if you support the cheese monger, join community supported agriculture (CSA), buy bread at a bakery and meat from a butcher, and visit the bar that sells micro-brewed beer.

CSAs are the best way to support the sustainable food movement. “You’re putting your money down before the food is raised and you’re making a commitment to the farmer and they deliver it.

Food issues aren’t just about what’s on your plate. Global warming, antibiotics in the food supply, loss of family farms, weather changes are topics that are often ignored by the cooking channels and food magazines, but they influence food production and the quality of what we eat.

Guests:

Patrick Martins

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Comments [21]

ds from NY

Just to chime in on the issue of food museum - it is not true the "whole world" doesn't have any food museum. Japan has many. Just Yokohama has several museums dedicated to ramen. It's usually a combination of a historical museum featuring food displays and intense food court dedicated to the given food.

Jul. 15 2014 10:09 AM
Thomas from Brooklyn

Its called "not eating meat" - perhaps you've heard of it.

Jul. 09 2014 08:20 PM
brian from midtown

sausage - oops - assuage the guilt.

Jul. 09 2014 06:38 PM
tom LI

Getting these boutique meats into a regular supermarket will be like climbing Everest in bunny PJs. Its simply seen as a fad, and the Supermarket Industry is simply waiting for the stuff that sticks to shake themselves out.

plus even when a regular supermarket introduces various products like say, grass fed butter, cheeses, etc - they always overprice the he// out of them. I will use Kerrygold butter/cheeses as one such example. My local chain supermarkets charge 2-3xs more over what I can get them at Trader joes or even Whole Foods. And when I point it out to the store managers they shrug their shoulders. Theres a huge disconnect about these products by the chain retailers.

Personally, I think the whole problem here is that elitist food snobs, and a large portion of vegans have made the whole thing about being virtuous over all else. Us regular eaters have had it up to our necks with all the virtue wars over how eating Soy or the latest "Kale" (or the new acai!) is by default making someone a better person. The whole language and culture around US food is all upside down.

Jul. 09 2014 04:25 PM
A Sol from 11101

Ted Turner and Paul McCartney?
Try Jane Fonda and Linda McCartney!

It was the wives that started all the good work/activism.

Patrick Martins needs to get his facts straight.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Fonda
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_McCartney

During the 1960s, Fonda engaged in political activism in support of the civil rights movement, and in opposition to the Vietnam War.[15] Fonda's visits to France brought her into contact with leftist French intellectuals who were opposed to war, an experience that she later characterized as "small-c communism".[32] Along with other celebrities, she supported the Alcatraz Island occupation by American Indians in 1969, which was intended to call attention to failures of the government in treaty rights and the movement for greater Indian sovereignty.[33]

She supported Huey Newton and the Black Panthers in the early 1970s, stating "Revolution is an act of love; we are the children of revolution, born to be rebels. It runs in our blood." She called the Black Panthers "our revolutionary vanguard ... we must support them with love, money, propaganda and risk."[34] She has been involved in the feminist movement since the 1970s, which dovetails with her activism in support of civil rights.

Vegetarianism
McCartney introduced her husband to vegetarianism in 1975, and promoted a vegetarian diet through her cookbooks: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking (with author Peter Cox, 1989),[35] Linda’s Kitchen and Simple and Inspiring Recipes for Meatless Meals. She explained her change to vegetarianism by saying that she did not "eat anything with a face... If slaughterhouses had glass walls the whole world would be vegetarian".

Jul. 09 2014 02:07 PM
Amy from Manhattan

The flip side to "hipsters" helping popularize sustainable food is the backlash against them. Until the price of sustainable food comes down & its image as elitist is countered, its availability will be limited. Hey, if we put it in terms of expanding the market for it, will that sway any of the suppliers?

Jul. 09 2014 02:00 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

All fine and well if you can afford it. But the reality is that we in the US are blessed with the lowest family food bill of any country on earth. But I will agree that the less carbohydates you eat the thinner and probably healthier you will be.

I agree that animals are treated atrociously and "inhumanely" in the process to keep meat as cheap as possible for the masses, but I hope the day will come when we will be able to "grow" meat the way we grow fruits and vegetables and not have to imprison and torture animals before we eat them. It's already being done in labs so it is not total sci-fi.

Jul. 09 2014 01:58 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

All fine and well if you can afford it. But the reality is that we in the US are blessed with the lowest family food bill of any country on earth. But I will agree that the less carbohydates you eat the thinner and probably healthier you will be.

I agree that animals are treated atrociously and "inhumanely" in the process to keep meat as cheap as possible for the masses, but I hope the day will come when we will be able to "grow" meat the way we grow fruits and vegetables and not have to imprison and torture animals before we eat them. It's already being done in labs so it is not total sci-fi.

Jul. 09 2014 01:57 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

All fine and well if you can afford it. But the reality is that we in the US are blessed with the lowest family food bill of any country on earth. But I will agree that the less carbohydates you eat the thinner and probably healthier you will be.

I agree that animals are treated atrociously and "inhumanely" in the process to keep meat as cheap as possible for the masses, but I hope the day will come when we will be able to "grow" meat the way we grow fruits and vegetables and not have to imprison and torture animals before we eat them. It's already being done in labs so it is not total sci-fi.

Jul. 09 2014 01:56 PM
Amy from Manhattan

1 way to feed more people w/the same area of land is for us to eat (at least) less meat. You can feed a lot more people w/the amount of grains, beans, vegetables & fruits grown on the same no. of acres than you can w/the meat from animals fed all of those crops.

Jul. 09 2014 01:52 PM
tom LI

Just perused the Heritage food site...hmmm...uh...an order of chicken is 1\2 my food budget. While I agree with all that is being said, the costs of these boutique foods is prohibitive for most middle to low income consumers. I try and shop as best I can, but when I'm squeezing every penny out of every dollar, I simply have to buy what I can afford - not what I might want. I'm very active at work and pleasure, and need to eat a certain amount of protein every day. There's no way I can do it with boutique foods.

Jul. 09 2014 01:51 PM

First opossum conflation in the previous segment, now bison/buffalo?!

Jul. 09 2014 01:51 PM
sandra from brooklyn

the guest still isn't answering the person's question about not being able to afford fancy "responsible" meat. what is the alternative to grocery store meat? how is change expected if it's financially unattainable for 90% of carnivores?

Jul. 09 2014 01:46 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

These foodie-fanatics are nuts! Our big boned neanderthal ancestors ate MEAT, MEAT, and more MEAT. I defy any of these locovar foodie-fanatics to PROVE that people who eat the way they say we should live longer and have healthier old ages. That is the true test.

Jul. 09 2014 01:40 PM
Christine from Fairfield CT

We don't even have a slaughter house in CT so even if you wanted to start a farm
to grow meat the barrier to entry regarding the slaughter process is prohibitive

Jul. 09 2014 01:37 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Nothing wrong with well-cooked meat. God loves meat, many goats, bulls and sheep. Meat is good for your health, if well cooked. What is bad is wheat, not meat. Mixing bread and meat is terrible. That's what is wrong with a hamburger. Not the meat the bun, and other high carbohydrate junk in between. Just eat the meat with water to drink it down like our premordial ancestors.\

As for Turkey, the best is Empire Kosher Turkey Franks. I get them for $2.99 for a pack of eight franks delivered by Fresh Direct which I order online. Only 0 carbohydrates per serving. If you want to be healthy and lose weight, eat only meat and eggs especially turkey meat. Don't eat carbohydrates. Folow Dr. Atkins.

As for cruelty to animals, I agree and I hope that soon we'll be able to GROW meat instead of entire animals. It's already being done in laboratories.

Jul. 09 2014 01:37 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Mr. Martins mentioned subsidies. Are conventional farms (for both meat & produce) still highly subsidized, & what would it take to change that & make organic food prices more competitive?

Jul. 09 2014 01:36 PM
Faith from East Village

Wanted to share this new store where I hope to move most/all of my meat business. Their animals are humanely raised and killed locally. They strive to use all parts of the animal. It's also the same price or cheaper than Whole Foods. Honest Chops: http://honestchops.com/

Jul. 09 2014 01:36 PM
pina from So.Plainfield

Organ meats have the most nutrients and yet they are least expensive. If you eat 3oz of liver twice a week you will be getting all vitamins and minerals needed.

Jul. 09 2014 01:29 PM
pina from South Plainfield

Thank you so much for this conversation!
People need to wake up.

Jul. 09 2014 01:26 PM
Peg

Responsible carnivores eat small amounts of meat and make sure that it's grass fed. This type of meat is more expensive - but people really don't need to eat large portions.

Jul. 09 2014 12:42 PM

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