So today, while reading Mouthing Off, one of Food & Wine magazine's blogs, I stumbled upon Rethinking the Meat Guzzler, by regular New York Times contributor Mark Bittman. It's a well-written essay on how harmful the current meat production industry is to the environment and our collective health among other things. In it, Bittman also alludes to the prospect of "legless meat." To quote from the article:
"Longer term, it no longer seems lunacy to believe in the possibility of “meat without feet” — meat produced in vitro, by growing animal cells in a super-rich nutrient environment before being further manipulated into burgers and steaks."
And then there's this gem, an Op-Ed by a farmer who was fined for daring to grow fruit and vegetables on land earmarked for corn. "How dare he!" I say with the utmost level of sarcasm. It's ludicrous that a farmer, who is trying to grow more watermelons to satisfy demand for local, organic produce, is told that he's breaking some law by doing this on land set aside for corn.
This all makes we wonder how I can best work to roll back the "progress" we've made in terms of agriculture. The more I learn about the Farm Bill and its subsidies to the largest corn, soybean, rice, cotton and wheat growers (at the expense of the very small farms those subsidies were originally intended to aid and those farmers wishing to grow the fruits and vegetables that we're supposed to be eating more of) the more I'm disgusted. I just want some antibiotic-free, grass-fed beef (three or four ounces is enough) to go with my local, organic, seasonal vegetables that rest on top of my brown rice pilaf that I made with homemade chicken stock. Is that so much to ask?