Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A look back at January - Meat Month, Prune Breakfast Month, Slow Cooking Month, Fat Free Living Month

One month of blogging at least a few words daily - not too shabby.  Unfortunately, while I managed to touch on the daily food celebrations, I didn't fare as well with the monthly food celebrations.  So this is a bit of a "catch-up" post to reflect on some of the monthly food celebrations I didn't talk about.

Meat Month

I think I subconciously avoided this topic because it's a controversial and deeply personal decision to eat meat.  I've been described as a "sometimes omnivore" by friends and family.   Some people have asked if I'm vegetarian - let me make it clear: I am not.  I choose not to eat meat often (particularly red meat) for personal reasons based on nutrition and environmental impact.  (My eating habits tend to be red meat 4-5 times a year, poultry 0-2 times a month, and fish 4-5 times a week.)  I do have friends who are vegetarians or vegans, but all chose that lifestyle for different personal reasons.  On the other end of the spectrum, I have friends who cannot fathom a meal without meat as the centerpiece.

I still eat meat, though, so I try to choose meats I feel were produced as sustainably as possible.  As with all things, the more you know, the better off you'll be.  If you're a meat eater, get to know your local butcher.  Gain an understanding of meat price flucuations and why some meats are so much cheaper than others.   Go visit a farm or go hunting - see where your food comes from.  Or read Omnivore's Dilemna, What to Eat, and an evironmental science book. 

Prune Breakfast Month

Prunes are typically associated with older people.  I'm not sure if it's the wrinkles or the -ahem- digestive benefits of prunes, but for some reason most young people laugh or go "ew!" when talking about prunes.  However, I like prunes, as I do almost all dried fruits.  I've never had them for breakfast, though- just as snacks.  California Dried Plums has some suggestions for breakfast recipes featuring prunes.  I suppose it's more marketable to call them "dried plums" instead of prunes.  Actually why do we do that?  Dried apricots, dried apples.... so why do we call raisins raisins instead of "dried grapes" and prunes prunes instead of "dried plums?"  Something to look into later.

Slow Cooking Month

I thought this would be about the Slow Food Movement, but Slow Cooking is actually using a crockpot.  Crockpots are awesome, and therefore slow cooking is awesome.   A Year of Slow Cooking  is blog devoted to slow cooking and definitely worth checking out.  Plus, I'm finding I like blogs that have a focus on doing something for an entire year.  I wonder why that is....

Fat Free Living Month

Wow.  If someone can live on fat free foods for an entire month, color me impressed.  I like my cookies and breads too much to ditch the butter in them.  Plus, a lot of my protein comes from nuts and those are naturally fatty.  Americans do eat a lot of fat, so maybe trying to eat one fat free meal every day for a month would be a good goal to start with.  It makes sense that this is in January, since January is the month most people make resolutions to start dieting and losing weight.  Hrm...maybe a month is how long most people can stay on a fat free diet - I mean, Valentine's Day and all that tempting chocolate is right around the corner.

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