I think a lot about food.
I was raised in a family that also thinks a lot about food. My dad’s side of the family in particular is almost completely foodies and chefs. When we gather for Thanksgiving or Christmas, we crowd around before we eat to take pictures… of the food. And then, of ourselves with the food.
When I began cooking for myself, I started to think about food in different ways. To an extent, I became more interested in the individual ingredients than in a dish itself. I spent more quality time with the bulk bins at Whole Foods. I started biking to the farmer’s market every Saturday morning. And as I learned more and more about my ingredients, I became choosier.
Though the information isn’t always readily available, I like to know where my food came from, what has been done to it/put on it/taken from it, and at the very least, what it is made of. Though not exclusively, meat and meat products are the foods that give me unsatisfactory answers to those questions. While some meat can be ethical and healthy, it’s more expensive and sometimes hard to find.
So I’m not eating meat, at least for the rest of 2012. This wasn’t a difficult decision to make. I’ve never particularly liked meat, and there’s no real reason to eat it besides its taste. I rarely eat it anyway, and I don’t normally post recipes with meat on the blog. Still, as an individual who is concerned about corn and soy subsidies, the environmental devastation wreaked by CAFOs, and the lack of availability of fresh foods, I’m compelled to completely withdraw support for the unethical practices of the meat industry.
Informing my readers about this decision is important to me for several reasons. It’s important to create (preferably civil) dialogue about the state of America’s food industry. I hope to show people that eating meatless, minimally processed meals isn’t boring–it’s actually really delicious and fun. So to start, I’ll share one of my favorite protein-rich vegetarian recipes.
Falafel. Yields 2-3 servings.
2/3 cup dry garbanzo beans/chickpeas
1/3 cup cilantro, packed lightly
1/3 cup parsley, packed lightly
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. coriander
s&p to taste
Soak chickpeas overnight. Drain, then process all ingredients in a food processor until the mixture is grainy. Roll into balls, place on a baking sheet, and bake in a (pre-heated) 350F oven for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.