The idea that we should eliminate meats from our diet strikes me as every bit as wrongheaded as it would be to eliminate vegetables and fruits. The concept of eating whole foods must include the broader concept of eating whole Earth. Otherwise, we are simply eating some whole foods.
By eating the complete variety of whole Earth foods, we integrate our body, mind and soul into Mother Nature’s majestic, holistic scheme. Say what they want, but protein from beans and rice is not the same as protein from pastured beef, pork or chicken, delivered with the vitamins and minerals from the grasses, herbs and clovers. And there is nowhere in the vegetable world that you are going to find the virtues of pastured fat with its Omega 3s and CLAs. There is a reason that meat is available and if we think nature has made a mistake by putting it in front of us - well, let’s just call it myopic and leave it at that.
The whole Earth concept goes further than the eating. Good soil and plants, be they vegetables or grasses, cannot be whole foods without the animals doing their part. Consider that the most difficult task for organic vegetable growers is building the soil into a complete and lively earth because they do not have the one additive provided by the natural scheme - animal compost. That’s why the USDA now has 60+ non-organic substitutes for use as soil additives - because our organic vegetables cannot restore the soil completely without the animals. Until the vegetable farmers include stock rotation in their program, we will all be eating “organic” which is not actually organic and is certainly not whole Earth eating.
For the first time in many decades, our ag-scientists are again studying the right subject - how good soil fits into the grand scheme of the whole Earth concept. Consider these findings from Australia and Germany, respectively:
- Sydney University: properly grazed cattle create soil and vegetation conditions capable of absorbing more methane per day than a cow produces in one year;
- Karlsmuhe Institute of Technology: Nitrous oxide is the third most significant of the greenhouse gases, behind CO2 and methane (we solved methane with the above results and we all know that grasslands trap and utilize CO2 in the soil, right?) Nitrous oxide is reduced by grazing but flourishes in un-grazed grasslands. The author of this study notes that while conventional meat production harms the soil and the entire environment, managed grazing has the opposite effect - it benefits the soil and environment. While that seems to be a revelation to KIT, it has been understood by the sustainable farming community for a long time. The proof has been in our experience rather than scientific studies. Nonetheless, we welcome the scientific community’s joinder it what was obvious to us.
I respect the various reasons that vegetarians turn off of meat, which almost always turns on the understandable repulsion to animal cruelty and filthy processing routines. By boycotting factory meats, they send a free-market message to the producers, and that guides the system toward reform. But the sustainable, holistic answer to their moral dilemma is not vegetarianism but instead support of the stockmen and farmers who are doing it right.
One last point — you do not see our fellow mammals, be they omnivores or herbivores, choosing to eliminate select foods from their diet. They eat everything that their system provides. Why would human mammals choose to do less?
Be a whole Earth eater! It’s what was intended. Anything less is simply misguided balderdash. Innocent and well-intended balderdash, but balderdash just the same.
Cooking news and tips: the May delivery marks your first sample of our fruit-finished pork from the finishing yard. Let us know what you think.
Dealing with tendons: you will sometimes see tendons around the edges of the meats, most often on the boneless pork chop, beef steak, and either variety of roast. Tendons will often cause the cut to curl up when it hits the fire. Avoid this by cutting through the tendon before cooking. Don’t cut it off, just put a cut in it top to bottom, allowing it to contract without curling the meat.
You make sustainable, whole earth farming happen for us and we will never take that for granted.