Tomorrow is the last day of August? How did that happen?
Like many of us in the US, I’ve been keeping an eye on the news from Texas… My cousins in Corpus Christie are fine, but poor Houston! But I also see, and am even more horrified by, the flooding in South Asia, with landslides and massive loss of life… We, the people of the world (but particularly Americans, here) really need to pay more attention to flooding and rising waters – both in terms of infrastructure that recognizes and mitigates the danger and, well… We need to recognize human influence on climate change. And while one individual’s choices seem like, well, the proverbial drop in the bucket, those drops add up.
One of my own choices (for that and other reasons) has been to decrease consumption of meat and other animal products. I am not vegan, or even vegetarian, and I don’t do the Meatless Monday. I do use some form of vegan protein pretty much every day, often in 2-3 meals. Which again, adds up…
I had not planned to write this when I planned my meals – or even when I sat down to write it! Sometimes I just go where I feel led… But in fact – here. This is a perfectly normal day, for me.
For breakfast I had blueberry muffins and a protein shake. There is a small amount of milk and egg in the muffins – one third of an egg, and one quarter cup of milk? And a bit of butter… I used a pea protein powder (though I do sometimes use a whey powder. I used to routinely use soy, and Rich still does, but the one we get has some cross contamination with gluten, so not for me any more.)
And homemade kefir, so about a cup of milk. FWIW, here in New York State, most dairy cows are still pastured, on small family farms. They have hay and feed corn (which the farmers grow themselves) for winter, when snow covers the pastures, but eat grass when they can get it. I know that’s not true everywhere… and it’s starting to change even here. But geography is on our side – the hill country of Central New York is perfect for pasture and too steep to do much else!
At lunch, I usually use beans in my salad – I like the flavor and texture! And when I don’t use them in the salad, I often make my spreads and hummus variations. So here – a bowl full of vegetables from our CSA. (That’s another factor – they only traveled 65 miles to reach us and about a hundred other households. We all walk to the pickup site. Minimizing gasoline use and emissions from engines.) Black beans on top of them, and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds. Not pictured – New York Cheddar (I like it, it’s very inexpensive right now, and see about re: New York Dairy…) and rice cakes (OK, so they come from California. I’m talking about incremental choices, here, not perfection…)
Then dinner was an all meat meal. Beef, even! I wrote in Monday’s post about meat sold for London Broil but sliced too thin to be useful, and one way I dealt with that, but Rich had picked up three packages. (How much do I want? I don’t know, I said, around two pounds – expecting meat cut for a pot roast…) I decided to try a sort of stir fry with this, slicing the slice across the grain even more thinly! Sort of because my pan doesn’t heat right, and my stove doesn’t get hot enough… and you see I somehow overcooked the squash at the end… but the meat was beautiful!
Now, some days I might use a mix of meat and tofu. And if I were serving more than two people, I might use the traditional Chinese meal plan – serve this dish as is, but to four or six people, with another of tofu, and another with bean paste, or maybe a little egg… There are many possible approaches.
And there we have a day of food – that includes less animal protein than it might… Do I think this meal plan, by itself, will prevent future Harvey’s? No. (Or Katrina, or, here, Sandy or Irene… Six years ago today, Irene was flooding the Hudson Valley and Vermont. We were in a different CSA that year – and that farmer went out of business when the Hudson rose, flooded the farm, and destroyed two thirds of their annual harvest…) It is hard, though, not to notice that we’ve had a so-called Century Storm every couple of years… I’d rather do what I can to mitigate it than just say “Well, it’s out of my hands! Someone (else) should do something!”
Besides – the food tastes good! Why wouldn’t I eat this way?