Do you have any rules when it comes to your food? Chances are, yes. Most diets, fad or not, come with certain “commandments,” or rules that you choose to adhere to. Balancing these rules can be tricky: Life gets in the way, and unexpected ice cream sundaes and pizza parties happen. That being said, there are a few small commandments you can implement without sacrificing your favorite foods. Many of these revolve around meat.
Giving up meat completely is a super respectable decision—we won’t argue the benefits of being vegetarian. That being said, meat-eaters can make some simple choices to ensure that food is the healthiest it can be for your body, the animals, and the land. It’s not as simple as choosing a dish—when you choose rules around your eating habits, it’s important to holistically consider the planet. That includes the land itself, what we plant on it, how we farm it, and how we treat the animals on it—all the way from birth to your plate. Only when we consider our food system as a whole entity can we begin to habitually change the overall attitude towards our agricultural systems.
Want to make a difference without ditching your favorite foods? Here are some ideas created by our friends at EPIC Provisions in an effort to holistically address the issues that currently plague our food system. Check out the seven carnivore commandments below, and choose a “diet” that works for you!
Feed others as you wish to be fed.
We may look at the ingredient list and nutritional content of our own food, but what about the things we give to animals? Animals, too, are what they eat, and what we feed our animals has a direct effect on our own bodies. When we buy cheap, poorly-fed meat products, we’re supporting an unsustainable agricultural system. (And do you really want to be eating the stuff that factory-farmed animals consume?)
Michael Pollan has a great piece of advice when it came to making food choices. “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food,” he wrote in his book, Omnivore’s Dilemma. Buying organic, whole foods is one of the easiest ways we can make positive changes to our diet.
Buy apples or grapes rather than gummy snacks. Instead of buying cheese featuring a picture of a farmer, make an effort to buy cheese from an actual farmer. Look for meat products that are raised without a whammy of added hormones or nitrites. Both your body and the earth will feel the benefits.
Yup, what we eat directly affects the Earth. And since our food choices can have incredible ramifications on the planet, it’s important we think about environmental factors when making our food rules.
The problem is, many food companies know consumers are trying to look out for the environment, and will use confusing vocabulary to manipulate their food choices. With a bit of research, you can find brands that use land regeneration and carbon sequestering, two tactics that help maintain the natural fabric of Mother Earth.
Do more with less.
How much do you really need? Do you have foods that sit in the back of your fridge for weeks, or toss out leftovers every night? In a world full of choices, it becomes easy to buy more than we need. Also, when we get our food products from larger companies or corporations, it leaves smaller farmers without much work.
Make it part of your food commandments to do more with less. When we support cottage industries, like small town farmers and local food artisans, we’re helping to create more responsible industries that are better for the environment and individual families.
As the saying goes: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” The goal should be to leave the land better than you found it. Honor nature by selecting brands that are conscious of their effect on the environment, and make a solid effort to take care of the Earth. When we buy things that have a positive effect on the environment, we promote lasting food systems. Simple as that.
Making conscious eating choices may not be easy, but it makes a huge difference. Waiting “until tomorrow,” to start making healthy food choices can quickly turn into 10 years, and our planet doesn’t have time for us to make continue with destructive agricultural practices.
Rather than ignore the problem, start finding ways that you can be the change. Can you buy your produce from the farmers market? Can you source your meat products from places using regenerative farming techniques? Not only do your simple changes add up, but they also serve as the example for those around. Make mindful choices and witness a positive chain reaction.
Don’t let what everyone else is saying pollute your mind, especially when it comes to eating and diet. Fad diets may sound intoxicating, but they aren’t always what’s best for you. By taking the time to gather knowledge of the food industry, you can make mindful and delicious choices. Follow your heart. Eat things that make you feel good, both mentally and physically. Show respect for yourself and the wild nature that surrounds you.
At the end of the day, you’re the one in charge of your diet. Ask yourself: What kind of food system do you want to support? How do you want to feel? How do you want the land to look for generations to follow?
Following these basic commandments, however you may interpret them, can help lead our agricultural system into the right direction. When we step up to do our personal part, we allow the world to see that we value ethical eating. Let’s work together to leave the land better than we found it.1