So during Lent I decided to fast one day a week. It’s been an interested experience to say the least. Before the fast, I wouldn’t say that I had made a god out of food, but I definitely would turn to food for the instant stress relief and gratification. On one hand I was expecting to take the moments where I would normally be eating for prayer and meditation. But because all I could think about was how hungry I was, I can’t say that those times left me in any enlightened state. But strangely, the fast did lead me to change my approach to how I eat. I’ve been more considerate about how I eat and what I eat, a far stretch from the mindless binges that left me surprised that I had almost eaten a whole bag of chips or some other snack. Being more mindful, I took the opportunity on a day off to watch a couple documentaries on food, both many of you might be familiar with: Food Inc. and Super-size Me.
MEATLOAF SMEATLOAF, ROLLEY POLLEY BEATLOAF…
The videos really made me think about the business side of food and food production, particularly with meat. I was appalled to learn that E coli risks drastically increased when industrial farmers found it’s cheaper to feed corn to cattle instead of grass. But instead of going back to grass to keep people safe, they simply pumped more chemicals and hormones into the cattle -a measure still not as effective as simply letting the cows eat the grass that they are genetically wired to eat. Whether you find that unethical or not (I do), it just shows that in the age of mega-companies, quality takes a back seat to quantity. And given all the food wasted by Americans, it’s really an unnecessary quantity. But what do companies care? They got paid. Now you may not think it’s a big deal as long as you don’t die from E coli (but some do), but my wife is pregnant with our first child. So yes, I do care about what goes into other people’s body as well as my own.
This new found information has led me to become a semi-vegetarian. Before all this, I would have eaten meat at least once a day…sometimes for every single meal. I’ve begun to explore new flavorful ways to eating fruits and veggies, and my intake of produce has increased dramatically. I’m telling you the truth, in just a couple days I began to feel the difference! I have more energy in the afternoons, I feel healthy and vibrant, and I’ve lost a little weight. It’s actually had a positive impact on my spiritual life as well. Now I say semi-vegetarian because I still love eating meat, I just want to be intentional about the kind of meat that I buy and eat. And since grass-fed beef and free range chicken is more expensive, we simply won’t eat meat as much as we normally would. Also, this is my own conviction, and I can’t claim it for others. So I’m not going to make a big deal about it when we’re invited over someone’s house for dinner or a barbeque.
Please don’t politicize this post. This isn’t a tree-hugging public service announcement for PETA. It’s just the awakened perspective of someone that wants to know what I’m putting into my body.