I committed to eating local meat in January of 2012, only to discover it is a slippery and confusing slope.
I aspired to think and care about my food sources and make educated decisions. That lasted about 2 weeks, primarily because I didn’t eat any meat for the first week.
I started off thinking I wouldn’t eat any white meat, just red (yes, I know I am a rebel). While I was at the Yoga Journal Conference in San Francisco, I was faced with the tough choice of locally farmed free range chicken that was never frozen or beef that was not clearly defined as local at Gott right in the Embarcadero. Turns out the chicken sandwich was amazingly delicious. Welcome to the slippery slope.
It was only 2 days later as we headed up to Sacramento to shoot videos at Zuda Yoga, that we stopped for burritos at Taqueria San Jose in San Rafael. This is commonly called Burritos Under the Bridge by me, there green salsa is to die for! In a moment of weakness I ordered the pollo asado burrito, acknowledging as I bit into each juicy bite that I was eating random chicken that had probably lived a miserable existence. I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.
I used to work with a guy who loved to point out the “people are not week, drugs are just very strong.” This resonates with me as I look back at the last six weeks of indulging in meat. The Tandori Rib Eye from Miller Farm at Fire Food & Drink was just as delicious as I remember it from 10 years ago, so was their grass fed Miller Farm Burger! I have met the Millers and they are good people who care about the animals they raise and the food we eat. Am I weak or is meat just very strong?
I am addicted to ham and cheese right now. I try and get the Applegate farms organically raised hormone free ham. It tastes delicious, especially when paired with the Whole Food brand 365 Provolone. I am at Whole Foods a few times a week and have tried to make sense of their numbering system for animal care, but I have more research to do before I am comfortable explaining it. What I have done is tried to select the most local and best cared for meat products. When I have to choose I go with better cared for over local.
The truth is, I am really enjoying eating meat again. Food is delicious and I love experimenting with flavors and textures. From the stripper burger at B-Spot that comes on a salad with bacon bits and blue cheese to the pepperoni pizza at Whole Foods to the insanely delicious random meat dishes I ate at Diva – a great Indian restaurant in Boston. I know that I removed a stone from my journey when I started eating meat again. I will still struggle with my control issues and will compensate for my indulgences by giving generously of my time and knowledge to help this yoga community grow and communicate better. I am very conscious that we have one life to live and we have an obligation to ourselves and society to live it truthfully, making every effort to reduce our impact on the planet. That said, I am happy to meet up with you for a bottle of wine and some grass fed burgers next time I am in your hood.