Guiltless carnivoring

BlogHer Original Post

As Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, puts it: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

Meaning -- a meat-centric diet's never gonna be a v. healthy diet. That's not to say you can't eat meat ever -- though it does mean bye-bye to disgusting factory-farm meats.

Still, for those special occasions, here's an eco-guide to meat indulgence:

First, hit the farmers' market. At the Santa Monica markets, we have everything from free-range eggs layed by sprout-fed hens to grass-fed bison meat to ethically harvested goat cheese. If you want more deets, you can just ask the farmer selling you the stuff. For more details on finding locally-raised sustainable meat, read Umbra's guide.

Opt for grass-fed, free range, organic stuff. Yes, "grass-fed" can be a rather nebulous term, since cows grazed on grass for v. short timespans can still be chopped up to be sold as grass-fed meat. And yes, "free-range" too's a nebulous term, as the definition isn't firm or strictly enforced. So when you buy this stuff, it's good to then do some research to make sure the farms you're buying it from are really playing by the rules.

Keep a Seafood Watch guide in your wallet. I refer to mine whenever I go to a sushi restaurant. If the guide seems too complicated, just clip the "avoid" list to avoid the stuff listed there. Luckily, you'll likely find that most of the fish you enjoy on a regular basis is not the rare, endangered stuff.

Eat out in eco-style. Consult Sustainable Table's Eat Well Guide to find the restaurants serving local, non-factory-farm delicacies.

Don't forget your PB&Js. Or PB&Honey. Or PB&Banana. You get the idea --

Photo by Siel,

BlogHer Contributing Editor Siel also blogs at


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