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Eat Less Meat challenge

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Guest dixiebelle
Edited by dixiebelle

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Guest dixiebelle

When I say meat, I refer to lamb, beef (red meat) and chicken, pork, turkey, fish (white meat)...

 

As`far as I am aware, mass production chicken farming isn't good for the environment. Maybe not as bad as big animals, but all the same, we try to buy the free range (and local, where possible) ones. I am also trying to buy whole chickens, and maybe roast it for dinner, use some of the white meat for lunch the next day, and use the bones etc. to make into soup..

 

 

 

Googled...

 

Ellis's book is principally concerned with animal welfare in the chicken industry. The industry is worth about $380 billion worldwide a year. But it also has some interesting things to say about its environmental effect. There are now twice as many chickens in the world as humans, most of them kept for meat and eggs. In the US, 24 million chooks are slaughtered every day; in Australia, 488 million chickens will be killed this year to produce 793,800 tonnes of meat, according to the Australian Chicken Meat Federation.

 

Fortunately (given their huge numbers) chickens are not a source of global warming gases in the same way as ruminants - the so-called "farting cow" factor. But their faeces is certainly becoming a problem, not least in the US, where the Attorney-General of Oklahoma filed a suit against the chicken industry in 2005, alleging that poor dumping and storage of poultry waste was damaging the state's streams and lakes. "The nitrogen in chicken manure is good for soil, up to a point, after which it just becomes pollution," Ellis says.

 

Then there's the challenge of feeding all those birds. Around 30 per cent of the Earth's land surface is now used for growing crops to feed animals, with some 33 per cent of crops used for animal feed. Chickens have a relatively good feed conversion rate compared with other animals - about two kilograms of feed to one kilogram of meat. But because there are so many of them, they command an awful lot of land under cultivation. Ellis cites a Greenpeace investigation which revealed that in 2005 some 25,000 square kilometres of Brazilian Amazon forest was cut down to make way for soy, much of which went towards feeding chickens supplied to McDonald's in Europe.

"Food miles" - the distance food must travel from its source to your mouth - is also an issue, since different parts of the world like different parts of the chicken. "In England, for example, we import 50 per cent of our breast meat and export parts like the wings to East Asia. If you buy a chicken sandwich on the high street in the UK, it may well have come from Brazil, where production costs are much lower."

 

But it's not all bad news. In Australia, at least, most of our chicken meat is consumed locally, with less than 2 per cent exported. And Aussie chooks are among the most efficiently grown in the world, with a feed conversion rate of nearly two kilograms of feed to one kilogram of meat.

 

http://www.smh.com.au/news/environment/muc...1414217323.html

 

Other:

http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2007/0...0205137041.html

http://blogs.theage.com.au/lifestyle/chewo...en_farming.html

 

 

OH, I didn't post this link in OP. This is a great, easy to read website:

http://www.eateco.org/Environment/EnvGeneral.htm

Edited by dixiebelle

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lunargirl

This is definitely an area I could improve on. I love meat :blush:

 

Does kangaroo count? I would think that if we just moved away from cattle we'd be on the right track...?

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Guest dixiebelle

I think Recipes will be Pinned in this section, at some point. See what Susan thinks...

 

Kangaroo's? Get back to you on that one.

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RainDancer

Since becoming more environmentally aware, our family has gone from eating meat 4-5 times a week, to once (sometime only once a fortnight now).

 

ATM I am sourcing local organic beef. We are very lucky to have an organic farm just up the road. They are just getting into raising their own beef and lamb on a small scale, using their 'resting' vegetable paddocks to grow hay organically for them.

 

Going towards a vegetarian diet has been harder on my DH. If he could, there would be meat in every dinner we have whereas I am quite happy not having meat at all. Has anyone else found this?

 

I believe, but haven't been able to confirm, that the kangaroo's killed in Oz at the moment are taken from the wild (approx 2 million are killed each year, but most of it seems to be going into dog food). Kangaroo's are native and cause much less impact than introduced species. Please someone correct me if I am wrong.

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Guest dixiebelle
Going towards a vegetarian diet has been harder on my DH. If he could, there would be meat in every dinner we have whereas I am quite happy not having meat at all. Has anyone else found this?

Before I moved in with my now DH, I didn't eat alot of any meat. We still had about one vegetarian meal a week, but when I was PG we started eating alot more red meat. Then after DD was born, we probably ate meat 6 - 7 nights a week, always having a different meat each night!

I always knew eating meat wasn't that good for the world or the environment, as I did an assignemnt in uni about it, but never really thought about it. After a thread on EB, I started looking into it more, and for a month or so now, we have been alot less meat and cut back on dairy products too.

My DH never really liked tofu in the few times I cooked it before (in vege burgers, in a curry) but now, he loves it! I always cut if fairly thin, marinate it and stir fry it in oil, so it gets a golden, crispy edge. He has no problem trying unusual foods (I love cooking and can be quite creative!) and hey, I do all the cooking, he gets what he's given!

 

Kangaroo's are native and cause much less impact than introduced species
Yes, I've read that too, but want to know if kangaroo sold in Coles (Kanga Banga sausages etc.) is from wild kanagroos?? I didn't think it was allowed.

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Guest dixiebelle

Macro meats is the company who sell the kangaroo in Coles, incl the spicy sausages (we have tried), they also do mince and steaks...

Kangaroo Management Program

 

Kangaroos are a unique indigenous species, wherein there are 48 species of kangaroo ( macropods ) only 5 of the most abundant species are commercially harvested. Kangaroo numbers are now greater than ever before. Due to increase in in kangaroo numbers it has become necessary to commercially harvest 10% - 15% of the population yearly to prevent economic and environmental damage. Strict controls ensure that no more than the quota number is actually harvested.

 

Through careful management the Australian Kangaroo Industry has developed to its current level where Australia processes millions of tonnes of high quality meat as well as a large range of leather products. Each Australian state that commercially harvests kangaroos must have in place a Federal Government approved management plan. These plans must be updated every 3 years and aerial surveys of the population are conducted every year. After assessing the total populations and trends in population numbers a sustainable quota as to the number of kangaroos that can be harvested for that year. Kangaroos are harvested only from primary producing properties in Australia.

 

Government Regulations

 

The Kangaroo industry today is tightly regulated by the Australian Government's Primary Industries and the Australian Quarantine Inspection Services. Audits and inspections are conducted routinely to ensure compliance with the State's regulations and the Australian Standards. Macro Meats-Gourmet Game prides itself on being an active and responsible member of the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia.

 

http://www.macromeats.com/kangindustry.html

 

This is also interesting:

 

http://www.macromeats.com/quality.html

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JustSmileAndNod

Count me in to eat less meat, have been going back to my vegetarian ways recently.

 

We need someone to make a cool sig for the less meat challenge!!

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~CountryKidz~

Can't think of a way to say this better... I'm not sure if we would be cutting down our intake of meat, but when I say I eat meat in nearly every meal - my portion is only small. Eg. 1: Spag Bol - I prefer a plate full of pasta with say 1 cup of mince sauce - yet DP will be the opposite and have a tiny (half cup) of pasta and prob 3+cups of mince. The kids sort of eat an equal mix. So in total the meal may still be 1kg etc. I freeze the leftovers for spares. Eg. 2: I buy 6 lamb chops for a single serve of curry/stew. DP eats 4, I have 1, kids share 1.

 

So occasionally - I may be able to skip the meat portion and just have the sauces, but then I am constantly hungry. I need meat.

 

But the beef is our own - like a "boutique farm" as Dixie would call it. Lamb/pork/chicken - we try to source locally, otherwise spares are brought from a supermarket.

 

But being pregnant, busy with DP's work, getting home late - does see us eat quick vege/meat free meals now and again.

 

Anyway... I just wanted to clarify on a few things mentioned previously -

the so-called "farting cow" factor.

It's not actually the farting that produces the methane emissions - it's BURPING! From memory it would be grain fed animals that would burp more than grass fed? There are studies being done on ways to reduce this, and it comes down to their food intake. Cattle have 4 stomachs, so burping is a natural process and the gas escapes.

 

Chickens - Dixie's info is correct. The production of grains that they need to be fed to get the rapid weight gain is not efficient etc. Therefore freerange animals wouldn't grow as fast = slower turnover = less money. Also, there is allot of power consumption for mass production for either meat or eggs, if they are kept in cages. CHECK FREERANGE - they may still be cooped into a small area that they claim is freerange, but still be eating the grain diet for weight gain. To me a free range chicken is mainly fed on grass!! Yep, that's their main food, and fresh vegetables. Grain is if needed. Freerange meat chickens flesh will be allot browner in colour.

 

My Nan's brother has freerange laying hens and sells his eggs locally at a great price. He has nearly 200 and they roam his 50+acres. They go into a pen at night and their poop is used as fertiliser for his gardens. They are the best eggs you will eat.

 

Kangaroo's - were starting to be a major pest in allot of areas of Oz. Their numbers were that high that they were ruining the land and competing with other animals for food and water. Also causing destruction for farmers. Allot of the kill is for dog food, and there are strict rules in place if it's for human consumption.

 

Some wild animals are not healthy enough for humans. Hence the wild pig. It's flesh is wanted overseas. But again can be used for dog food. This is at least reducing the number of wild pests and the damage that they do - to the land and to native animals.

 

Vegetables - obviously everyone has to remember that growing vegetables etc takes water, possible fertlisers/chemicals/pesticides, which cause damage to land and in run-off. If not done in the right area in the right conditions. Transport is still an issue if not brought locally.

 

Does anyone watch landline on ABC? Sunday at noon, repeat on Monday's at 11am?

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Guest dixiebelle

Well, I did a quick sig for myself today in between housework and making dinners... it might need some refining! OK, got a new sig, and this one is easy to read!

 

Just found another good link:

http://www.naturalstrategies.com.au/food-drink/eat-less-meat

 

Thanks 2 FarmKidz for your in put too... you raise some good points! :D

 

In relation to that, here is a link for Australian Organic produce, so you can find local organic producers close to wherever you are!

http://enviro.org.au/organics-read.asp?pco...ilers/Producers

 

I just keep finding good link! Here is a link to oragnically farmed fish:

http://www.organicfish.com.au/Organic_Perch_P3.htm

Edited by dixiebelle

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~Edie~

How many meat based meals do you eat a week?

Usually 3/4 , but i'd like to cut it down to 3 .

 

 

Do you have any specifically vegetarian meals?

Yep plenty

 

 

Are you willing to cut down your meat and animal product consumption?

Yes

 

 

Could your family eat 2 - 3 vegetarian meals a week?

We already eat 2, sometimes 3. So yes :grin:

 

One of my fav vege meals is just a homemade pizza, with a tomato/passata'ish base, basil,garlic and fresh bocconcinni :wub:

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Trevie

How many meat based meals do you eat a week?

probably at least 10 (including lunches

 

Do you have any specifically vegetarian meals?

na, not really.

 

Are you willing to cut down your meat and animal product consumption?

Yes definately, I am really trying to make an effort.

 

Could your family eat 2 - 3 vegetarian meals a week?

Sure can. I had decided that tonight we wouldn't be eating any meat for tea and then I came on here and found this. From your sig Dixie. :clap:

 

When my DH and I were just DF, we barely had any money and really cut out a lot of meat, I used to crave it so much that I started dreaming about steak :lol: Then last year I went on a high protein, low carb diet, and due to not being able to get much info on foods high in protein, I basicly started eating meat with nearly every meal.

 

Thanks to you Dixiebelle and you other great EBers I have seen the merit and the good reasons not to eat so much meat and be more environ aware. So I am desperate to try this.

 

Tonight we had a pasta bake. Pasta, with a store bought sauce, cannellini beans, mushrooms, zucchini and capsicum. Was yummy!

 

Probably TMI when talking about food, but we have been really good about only flushing on the brown and then using water from the shower to do that :laugh:

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Guest dixiebelle

Trevie, you are so funny! :lol: I get such satisfaction from flushing using the shower water! :8 I curse when I forget about it and just flush!!

 

OK, yes, ah, back to food! :D I asked one of the EBer's (Jo32 I think, will go check) who has just done a uni subject on the impact of eating meat to come in and give us some info. ETA I moved that info. to the front page...

 

I think, being more aware of where your food comes from can make a big impact... and another thing I'd like to think about is, Why isn't more known about this issue? Why didn't Al Gore talk about it in his movie?

 

Anyway, I think it would be good to share what we are eating for the week, as well as when we've sourced local, organic and free range produce, or challenges we've had with family/ friends etc... see how it goes anyway!

Edited by dixiebelle

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4chooks

Hey dixibelle,

You could have written one of my essays in the exam this morning on land degredation caused by agriculture. :)

 

Everything you have said is spot on. The other big thing for me is that land cleared for agriculture releases heaps of CO2 into the atmosphere, (farming meat requires a lot more land). Natural vegetation/forests etc usually act like a big CO2 storehouse, called a "carbon sink".

If global warming is happening, (my lecturer was not 100% convinced :wacko: ), I don't want to contribute to making it any worse that I have to.

Plus the water, transport, pollution, resources used to farm meat etc...all surprised and worried me.

 

DH and I are giving up all meat (except Australian caught fish) for a month, and then we are going to see where we will go from there while we do a bit more investigation.

 

Tonight we had a pasta bake. Pasta, with a store bought sauce, cannellini beans, mushrooms, zucchini and capsicum. Was yummy!

We had something similar last night. YUM!! Tonight was 3 different kinds of vegetarian pizza (and beer to celebrate finishing the semester today!!).

Cheese and Mushroom

Toamato, bocconcini, basil, olives

Tex-mex, refried beans, red onion, capsicum, garnished with avocado and sour cream. YUMMO

 

I look forward to hearing how everyone is going. Thanks for starting all this dixibelle.

Jo

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Guest dixiebelle

Thanks for that info. Jo32... did you see my link to organically farmed fish, Soulfish, I think it is called... Apparently is it sold at a store in a small town near me, so will look into it. I still hadn't gotten around to working out the best type of fish to source (other than Australian) for the least enviro impact... but this organically farmed silver perch sounds like a winner!

http://www.organicfish.com.au/

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Guest dixiebelle

Dairy is the other thing we are trying to reduce and find out the best options for reduced environmental impact in relation to cows milk, cheese, yoghurt etc...

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Trevie

Q: What is tex-mex? I thought it was a fast food place. I don't think that's right.

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4chooks
Q: What is tex-mex? I thought it was a fast food place. I don't think that's right.

No, just a style of food. Mexican type things. Lots of beans!!

Jo

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Guest dixiebelle

It's a combination of texan style food and mexican style food. So traditional mexicans cannot afford and cannot source meat or dairy. Texans are big on those things. So you combine the two, and instead of plain bean burritos, you get meat burritos (with a few beans!), lots of melted cheese and sour cream... Think loaded potato skins, spicy chicken wings, chili con queso etc... yes, it is pretty yummy! You can do it without overindulging in meat and dairy though! :D

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~Susan~

I'm in on this too. I used ot be vegetarian many years ago. Then for health reasons we used to eat vegie meals 3 or so times a week.

 

I'm def keen to make more changes.

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Guest dixiebelle

I know this seems a little in advance, but I love to plan the weekly meals and shop accordingly (less waste that way too) and we usually shop on a Saturday. This is my weekly plan for next shop...

 

Sat Thai fish cakes with bok choy and cashews (local fish)

Sun Quinoa, fetta and spinach stuffed capsicums

Mon Marinated fried tofu and roast vege stack (make Sun)

Tues Mushroom risotto

Wed (work- day) Indian chicken curry with rice and pappadums (free range chicken - prepare Tue PM, cook in microwave Wed after work)

Thur Corn, zuchini and bacon fritters with home made tomato relish (local, wood smoked bacon)

Fri (work - PM) Freezer (plenty of vege options in there)

 

Of course, I do go by what is in season and if I find something for a good bargain when I get there, it might change like say, stuffed mushrooms or squash instead of capsicum...

Edited by dixiebelle

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Guest dixiebelle

OK, well this challenge has come to a grinding halt! Hopefully I got the message out to some...

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4chooks

I am still going on my meatless month.

 

We have been eating lots of yummy things.

 

Spinach and mushroom quiche

Bean burritoes

Indian rice and bean pilaf

Vegeatble and tofu laksa

 

Tonight I am having a go at making samosas (cheated and bought the pastry).

Anyone else been eating anything yummy??

Jo

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Guest dixiebelle

Thanks, Jo32!

 

I have found since being PG that i have had more protein cravings, and am also thinking of the extra iron I will require. But I think the emphasis is to have small amounts of good quality lean meat, but maybe I'll have to have a few more times a week that I have been, if my iron levels become low. They didn't in my last PG, but as I have said here before, I really amped up my red meat consumption when I was PG (because I hadn't been eating much.)

 

Anyway, have been having bean tacos, stuffed mushrooms, corn fritters with local bacon, and found that you can roast tofu! I felt like roast vegies and was making the roast vege stack with fetta, and thought, save washing up a fry pan, I just put the tofu and some olive oil on the baking tray, and it came out great!

 

I will have to make a trip out to the small town near us that does local meat, bacon and great free range chicken and egss. Plus they have local fruit/ veg (organic) when they have their market days...

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