I've never been a big meat eater, mostly a chick-a-tarian, the occasional bacon-y product, cured meats popular on wine bar tapas menus, etc. And of course, fish has always been my friend. You can see the blog history for yourself.
As someone who's had a mind on healthy eating and... well let's be honest... calorie intake....since I was 13... I've always understood from various websites, reading, weight-loss groups, and the like that lean meats, chicken breast, non-fat dairy, and egg whites were your best of friends. Lean protein! Eat as much as possible! You need more protein! It's carb-free! Super low-fat! Carbs are evil. You need to eat more meat. Have some whey protein. EAT MORE PROTEIN.
There are groups and advocates that will argue to the death that this is the best thing for you - protein protein protein! Why are we so protein-obsessed? When did we (the American nutrition mind) decide that protein HASTOBE an animal product? A person can derive just as much if not more than necessary daily protein intake from plant sources. MIND BLOWN. PS don't use cavemen as an argument. They didn't have desk jobs, SUV's, and meat processing plants. Pipe down.
I know nothing of science. I know a lot about printing? And I could write a marketing textbook fresh out of grad school. So I'm not going to stand on a soap box and regurgitate Vegan/Vegetarian propaganda, which is probably just as puffed up as the other end of the spectrum. But I don't need a science credential to understand this logic: the meat industry is a huge waste of resources (we raise crops, process said crops, feed said crops to animals, raise animals, kill said animals, process said animals, distribute animals). This is not a sustainable system. Also, the meat and dairy industries are as influential and powerful as Big Tobacco and use that power to support their lobby (did you know milk is not the best all-around source of calcium? But what about all those commercials and TV ads?). Why is ground beef so cheap, and organic spinach is a rip? Finally, as someone who reads a lot of news about the food processing industry professionally, I am unsettled by the...ahem... harvesting of both meat and dairy animals. Especially poultry... oh it's horrific. It's just not something I want to support personally.
Plus I really want to have a pet pig one day and I don't want a terrible guilt cloud hanging over me the whole time.
So I'm resolved to stop buying animal products at the grocery store. Will I keep this up eating out/holidays/dinner parties/etc? Probably not 100%, but I am not trying to be perfect. Just trying to do better. And I've got to learn to be happy with doing better over perfect in many facets of life. I guess that's another resolution.
So here's a condolence recipe for reading my rant.
Garlic Cashew Cream
makes about a cup
1/2 c. raw, unsalted cashews
1/4-3/4 c. warm water
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic
s+p to taste
First, I give you options. Pick one.
1. Soak cashews overnight in fridge in enough water to cover +1 inch. Drain soaking water before blending.
2. Simmer cashews in enough water to cover +1 inch for 25 minutes. Drain water before blending.
I chose boil.
Drain, as directed, and transfer cashews to a blender. Not a food processor! A blender. Start with 1/4 c. of water and add as you get the consistency you want. Blend for about 30 seconds to a minute, or until a sour cream like consistency is attained.
Add nutritional yeast and garlic. I use raw garlic cause I like the bite and I'm single. You could roast garlic first for a more mellow, nutty sauce.
Blend another 20 seconds or so. Season to taste. Cashew cream keeps very well in the fridge for up to a week!