Hello, my fellow Meatless Monday-ers! Sorry for the belated post (last week got a little ca-razy), but I’m back again with another post for you!
Actually, I lied. I’m not back here with a post, but my wonderful, smart, hilarious (and like-minded when it comes to food) husband, Elliott, is here with a guest post on how to eat meatless (or ethically omnivorous :)) when you’re out on the town, Mondays or otherwise. It’s easier than you might think.
But enough of my blabbing… (oh, and don’t forget to read more about the husband’s musings on food policy at his blog, Ethical Plate!)
My name is Elliott. I am married to Stephanie who brings you delicious recipes and delightful writing every week here at Girl Versus Dough. I also blog about food issues on http://ethicalplate.com.
Normally, my wife and I try to cook as much of our own food as we can at home. It’s healthier, cheaper and we have the experience of cooking together (sometimes it’s chaos in the kitchen, OK most of the time, but nonetheless it’s good to spend time together). We can choose exactly what we want to make for dinner. If we want meat, we can go to the neighborhood co-op and buy open-air pastured bacon or 100% grass finished local ground beef. Is it more expensive than conventional meat at the big box grocery store? Sure, a little bit. But, when you do most of your cooking at home you can afford to spend a little more on your meat from a good local source.
But what happens when you want to go out to eat and celebrate an occasion or you’re meeting some friends for dinner? You can’t be a hermit all of your life. Every once in a while you have to go out and eat at a…dun dun dun…restaurant!
If you haven’t heard, somewhere around 99% of restaurants source their meat from conventional industrial farms. So, when it comes to meat we have a dilemma when we go out to eat. What do we do?
1. Eat the meat because it’s sourced locally and/or raised according to our standards of animal welfare. If we find ourselves at Chipotle, we go ahead and eat their carnitas (pork) because they source 100% of their pork from farms who meet their stringent animal welfare guidelines. Wish I could say the same for their chicken and beef. In Iowa City, we’re fortunate enough to have a high concentration of likeminded people when it comes to sourcing meat. The best local Mexican restaurant in town, El Banditos, serves up beef, pork, and lamb from Pavelka Point which is in Solon, just outside of Iowa City.
2. Just eat vegetarian, dude! It’s rare when a restaurant doesn’t have a vegetarian option. Usually, most of the options are downright delicious. Plus, veggies are good for you! Your first thought should be the pasta menu; there’s almost always a vegetarian option. If that doesn’t look good, consider a salad (you can always say no bacon please!) or a soup (make sure it’s a vegetarian soup). In a last ditch effort, sometimes my wife and I order up a bevy of vegetarian appetizers and share them as dinner. Be creative!
More and more restaurants seem to be serving up locally raised meats. Right now, the percentage is small, but if you seek out and support restaurants that do, that number will increase! You’ll be supporting a farmer in your community and your money doesn’t go to some far away CEO sitting in his Herman Miller Aeron executive chair. If you want to learn more about why you might not want to eat meat from industrial farms (a.k.a. factory farms) go read my blog at Ethical Plate or follow me on Twitter (@ethicalplate).