Hello and welcome to “Pasta is Not Salad” – I started this blog in my mind about five years ago and it took me this long to figure out
what I wanted this Blog to be…once I decided on the answer, the rest has come pretty easily.
About Me: My Name is Tina – I grew up in Southeast Michigan in the northern suburbs of Detroit. My parents were both born in other countries; my mom from Poland and my dad from Canada (and various other places). I have beensurrounded by typical midwestern influences my entire life. At the age of 21 I decided to become a vegetarian. The idea was that I would try it for awhile – and now, almost 13 years later, I still haven’t gone back to the “dark side” of carnivorous consumption.
What it IS: This Blog is simply a record of observations designed to bring light to so many misconceptions about the food we eat and beverages that we consume, marketed as “Healthy”, but in fact are just the opposite. I am a person who has strong opinions on the subject of food production and consumption. I have read countless books ranging from the extreme (i.e. Diet for a New America by John Robbins) to the reality of it all – dictations of real life experiences (i.e. Animal, Vegetable, miracle: A year of food life by Barbara Kingsolver) are my favorite to read because they are based on real experiences.
What it is NOT: I am not a doctor, nor do I have any formal training in the areas of health or nutrition. Any programs or products that may pop up in this blog should not be followed blindly. Always check with your doctor or health care professional before starting a diet or health regimen, especially if you chronic illness or serious medical conditions. I will not be promoting any product or resource that I haven’t tried myself or have personally witnessed among close friends or family – so I hope to be able to promote personal experience rather than fads.
Here is where the idea began:
August 2009 (Facebook Note):
Not too long ago, I was at a family gathering when I suddenly found myself in an argument/debate with two of my cousins about being a vegetarian. It was a debate that I did not start, and in fact, tried avoiding by changing the subject, but somehow, couldn’t get out of it.
It bothered me quite a bit, I felt a little blind sided so I didn’t defend the reasoning behind my vegetarian lifestyle very well. I spent the next couple days stewing over this incident, wondering #1 why they felt it was necessary to ambush me in the middle of a family event, and #2 debate me on a subject they knew very little about, and I doubt either had ever taken the time to educate themselves on.
I thought about this for a few days, felt very angry at times, and very sorry for their ignorance at others, but my epiphany came when I realized that they were reacting to something that they didn’t, and quite frankly, WOULDN’T understand.
It isn’t the fact that I just don’t like meat.
When I became a vegetarian, I knew nothing about animal rights or factory farming but decided to become a vegetarian because I really just didn’t LIKE meat any more. Since then, I have educated myself on the subject of food production in this country more so than any other literate person that I know. I have been to animal rights conferences, listened to presentations by former members of the FDA & lobbyists from the dairy industry, read countless articles, magazines and books on the subject, and have seen more movies and documentaries than I can recall. (This is more than I can say for my debaters). So I feel that I couldn’t go back to the way I ate ten years ago, even if I wanted to.
Some say its propaganda.
I would say yes in some instances – but because I have read enough about food production from so many authors from such a wide range of back grounds, that I think I have done a pretty good job of filtering fact from propaganda. I believe that I have truly educated myself on the subject and have made an educated decision to avoid eating meat and other processed foods for good. It is no secret that the way we eat in this country has everything to do with the sky rocketing incidences of obesity, heart diseases, cancer, diabetes and so much more.
My real life example of this is that my grandmother and grandfather came to this country from Poland in the 60’s. They left a rural town in southern Poland where they made their own food from scratch. if they wanted pasta, they made it with an egg, flour and water, if they wanted eggs, they went outside and got it from the hen house, if they wanted bacon, my grandfather went outside and slaughtered his own pig.. himself.
They left Poland with their three children and joined the rest of my grandfathers siblings in the motor city. This was the land of opportunity!! If you wanted pasta, you went to the store and bought it in a box, if you wanted an egg – they had those in boxes too, and if you wanted bacon, well there it was, in a nice, neat little package at Meijer. Yay America!!
They both died from terrible forms of cancer; my grandmother from colon cancer, my grandfather, a brain tumor. We lost two amazing people well before their time and I believe that it is directly linked to how drastically their diets changed just by moving to America and consuming its food, and breathing its chemical filled air. Coincidence? I believe to my core that if they never left Poland, they would both be alive and well today.
When I came home today, I saw the new Time magazine sitting on my coffee table – it has the headline “The Real Cost of Cheap Food”. Time Magazine is a respected publication, it is a time honored tradition that speaks the truth, even when no one wants to hear it – and today is no exception.
I think everyone should pick up this issue and at least attempt to begin to educate themselves and their children on how our food gets to our table and learn more about the consequences of corporate farming. We need to start making change for the better in this country at a time when we desperately need it.
# # #
26 August 2009
The Real Cost of Cheap Food
by Bryan Walsh
Somewhere in Iowa, a pig is being raised in a confined pen, packed in so tightly with other swine that their curly tails have been chopped off so they won’t bite one another. To prevent him from getting sick in such close quarters, he is dosed with antibiotics. The waste produced by the pig and his thousands of pen mates on the factory farm where they live goes into manure lagoons that blanket neighboring communities with air pollution and stomach churning stench. Hes fed on American corn that was grown with the help of government subsidies and millions of tons of chemical fertilizer. When the pig is slaughtered, at about 5 months of age, he’ll become sausage or bacon that will sell cheap, feeding an American addiction to meat that has contributed to an obecity epidemic currently afflicting more than two thirds of the population. And when the rains come, the excess fertilizer that coaxed so much corn from the ground will be washed into the Mississippi River and down into the gulf of mexico where it will help kill fish for miles and miles around. Thats the sate of your bacon – circa 2009.
Support sustainable farming – write your local and federal government – ask them to support change in America’s food production.