Eating is an agricultural act

So the World Vegetarian Day festival in San Francisco was pretty interesting.  I don’t think it was bad….but it wasn’t great either.  I was happy to see the amount of "normal" people there.  That reinforces that I’m not a freak J (at least not by being a vegetarian).  Saturday evening we went to a restaurant called Greens, I highly recommend it when you visit San Fran.  The menu changes daily depending on the fresh food delivered for the day.  This makes dining at a good veg restaurant a unique experience. The meal was one of the best vegetarian meals that I can remember.  I’m not sure exactly what we had…but if you ask Meg, she can run through the whole menu for you!
I know some of you may be taking a pass on Veg day this week because I neglected to change out one of my players on my Fantasy Football team, but I encourage you to change up your week and skip meat for a day this week anyway!  I checked my team earlier last week, but I obviously missed it.  I will make sure everyone it playing next week!

Today’s facts are about chickens and turkeys.  Remember…if you eat them, please try to be responsible and choose free-range, humanely raised animals!

-  Between 1982 and 1997, the number of chickens raised per poultry confinement units increased by 52%.

-  In Maryland, chickens outnumber people 59 to 1. A 1998 Consumer Reports study revealed that 71% of store-bought chicken   were contaminated with Campylobacter (the most common cause of foodborne illness in the ) and/or Salmonella.

- The third largest meat recall in history (27.4 million pounds of poultry) occurred in 2002 after meat from a Wampler Foods poultry plant caused eight    deaths, three miscarriages, and at least 54 illnesses.

 - Chickens are reservoirs for many foodborne pathogens including Campylobacter and Salmonella. 20% of broiler chickens in the are contaminated with Salmonella and 80% are contaminated with Campylobacter in the processing plant. Campylobacter is the most common known cause of bacterial food borne illness in the .

- A factory farm henhouse can be as big as a football field, housing up to 200,000 chickens, crammed tightly into several tiers of cages.

- Due to health and humane concerns, many European countries have banned battery cages (still in use in the ) which prevent laying hens from moving around or stretching their wings. is going a step further by using the law to promote small-scale farming; by 2006, German farms will be allowed to house no more than 6,000 hens at once.

- 99% of all turkeys raised in the are Broad-Breasted Whites, a turkey breed specially developed to have a meaty breast. The breasts of these turkeys are so large that they are unable to reproduce naturally; according to the United Nations FAO, without artificial insemination performed by humans, this breed would become extinct in just one generation.

- Geese and ducks that are farmed for foie gras (liver pate) are force-fed large amounts of food twice a day through a tube which is attached to a pressurized pump and inserted down their throats. This causes their livers to expand to 6-10 times the normal size and become tender and sensitive to trauma.


Instead of a recipe this week, I’m giving a few recommendations for meat-substitutes.  Most of these can be found at the local grocery store or Trader Joes.  Use these in place of meat in your regular recipes.  In our experience, these seem to be the best tasting products out there.  If you have any questions about these or about other products, please let me know!  Also, if you have any recommendations of your own, send them to me!


Veggie Burgers - Dr. Praeger’s these can also be ground up to make a ground beef substitute. (can be found at T.J.’s)

Veggie Sausage- Tofurky (can be found at T.J.’s and most supermarkets)

Veggie Hotdogs- Quorn (can be found at most supermarkets)

Veggie Corn Dogs- Ask Patty or Adam

Veggie Chicken- Quorn Products (can be found at most supermarkets)

Veggie Meatballs- Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs (T.J.’s of course!)

Veggie Ground Beef- Morningstar Farms Crumbles (can be found at most supermarkets)

Have a great week!  Thanks for listening!



P.S.  A reference to my subject line can be found hear.

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