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Cutting back on meat

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Interesting New York Times article on ways to cut back on meat consumption by Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything.

Bittman does two things in this article that I don't think I've seen anyone do before:

  1. Ignores the question of why you might be cutting back on meat; as he notes, there are many reasons that people do this. He's focused entirely on how to go about it if you're already interested in doing it.
  2. Talks about reducing meat consumption, not eliminating it. He says: "I’m not talking about eating no meat; I’m talking about cutting back, which in some ways is harder than quitting."

On a personal note, I find the article intriguing because (a) I've been trying to cut back on chicken and fish for a while now, and (b) even though I'm a lifelong non-red-meat-eater, if there isn't some substantial-feeling main dish, containing at least one of a certain set of ingredients (protein or carbohydrates, mostly), then it doesn't feel like a meal to me. I've never liked tapas or dim sum or (by itself) sushi or other meals-in-little-parts; I tend to eat too much of any of those things, because they feel like little side dishes rather than full meals. So I like Bittman's notion (one among several suggestions he makes) of not centering the meal around one big hunk of meat, but I can imagine that being tough to do; it might require changing one's entire idea of what constitutes a meal.

Anyway, interesting article, and I thought it was worth spreading.

(Thanks, Chaos, for the link!)

1 Comment

Nifty article! We've been cutting back on our meat consumption - mostly through the "buy less method".

Buying less for us is accomplished two ways:

1. For home cooking, we buy only locally produced meat at the farmer's market. (I know that's not an option for everyone.) Totally aside from ethical reasons for doing so, it's more expensive and therefore harder to buy lots of. (That sounds sort of silly, and I suppose it is, but it does seem to work.)

2. When we go out to eat, my goal is to eat meat on no more than one in three outings, and otherwise limit myself to the vegetarian options. The upshot of this is that I tend to forget when the last time I ate meat at a restaurant was - I'd guess that I probably actually eat a meat entree once every eight outings.


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