Even though I’m a fan of using humanely raised and locally sourced food stuffs when possible I find recipes that specify ‘free range’ or ‘grass-fed’ irritating (though I might have succumbed myself a time or two). And even though I begin my shopping at the farmers’ market and work my way out I understand that sometimes that’s just not possible geographically, seasonally, or economically and I think it’s condescending to specify ‘farm fresh grass fed twice the price’ when a recipe can be made using ‘conventional’ ingredients.
Condescending aside I think there are very real reasons, both ethical and environmental, why it is better to go without or with less and not buy meat or dairy that sacrifices an animal’s quality of life for cheap eats. If my father wasn’t such a devout carnivore we would probably mostly eat plants and locally grown sustainable plants at that.
But these are my choices. I am happy to explain why I feel the way I do (Google “factory farmed meat” or “factory farmed dairy” if you want to be sad for the rest of the day and possibly even well into tomorrow) but these are decisions that I’ve come to over time and I trust that my readers are just as capable as I am of making their own choices.
I’ve got friends who are vegan and friends who survive on a diet of beer and bacon. Paleo, gluten free, lactose intolerant, no fermented things, no nightshades, no nuts, low-fat, salt free. Whatever the reason be it allergy, sensitivity, or lifestyle choice I’m fine with it. As a food blogger I enjoy the challenge and as someone with a life threatening food allergy I never say oh there’s just a little bit or you can’t even taste it. In fact, as someone with a life threatening nut allergy, I’ll live a lot longer if I stick to burger joints rather than vegan restaurants where cashews sub for all things dairy. And when someone I love and who I know loves me enough that I could sleep on their couch if life ever went sideways offers me chicken that I know was bought on sale at the giant supermarket and raised on a factory farm I say thank you, it’s delicious. And most of the time it is delicious because they made it in their kitchen just for us. And when it’s not delicious there are always tiny portions and wine.