Hello Innocent Primate readers! I know I have taken a serious hiatus from blogging, and I’m so glad that Sara has been working hard to pick up the slack and bring y’all great recipes over the last couple of months. I have a couple of recipes in the hopper, myself, so hopefully I can get those posted soon.
In the mean time, I just had to bring your attention to an article in the New York Times entitled “To Cut Global Warming, Swedes Study Their Plates” (cue vegan amazement that a government would act independently of the cattle lobby to help the planet). Over the last year or two, I have noticed the NYTimes running articles promoting meat-free diets as environmentally sound and others mentioning veganism as a perfectly valid life choice (which, hey, is a pretty new concept for most people). Then there’s E. Coli tainted beef, which is a veganism ad that writes itself. It wasn’t that long ago that every person I met had to be told what a vegan is. Now, it’s only about half of the people I meet. Ten years ago, when I became just a vegetarian, it was practically impossible to eat at a restaurant when I visited my parents in Texas. Now, there are several entirely vegetarian/vegan restaurants in Houston, and vegan dishes available at many “ordinary” restaurants, too. So, the word seems to be getting out, and hopefully people like us at the Primate are helping to show them that being a vegan is not martyrdom. Vegan food can just be good food.
But, I digress. Back to the article at hand. “An estimated 25 percent of the emissions produced by people in industrialized nations can be traced to the food they eat, according to recent research [in Sweden].” Accordingly, the Swedish government, with the cooperation of many food producers and restaurant owners, have started to calculate the carbon footprint of different foods, and then (here’s the critical part) put that information on the packaging or menu. They have even changed the dietary recommendations (equivalent to our governments food pyramid) to give “equal weight to climate and health.” So the government is telling people, instead of eating beef, it’s better to eat chicken or beans to get your protein (yes, beans are a legitimate protein source!). And then when they go to the grocery store or restaurant, they can make immediate comparisons of carbon emissions for different foods. Of course, just telling people that beef is terrible for the environment will not make everyone stop eating it. At least not right away. But as one man, after being asked about the hamburger he was eating, said, “You feel guilty choosing red meat.” And I am certainly not above making people feel guilty about choosing meat. They should feel guilty. Although that guy was a eating a burger, I bet that guilt will at least decrease his consumption over time.
Anyway, give the article a read, and pass it around. People are frequently flummoxed when I say that 1/3 of the reason why I’m a vegan is environmental. News like this will hopefully help them understand.
On This Day In History: Peanut Butter Ganache Cups