Modern Farming Techniques

Last month, I subbed for a Spanish teacher while he gave a presentation for an assembly at his school. During one of his breaks, he showed me this “cute” video. Yes, it is a commercial for Chipotle. I was skeptical when he told me this, too, but I gave it a try.

He was right. The short story starts out cute with animated pigs frolicking on a pasture. However, halfway through, another teacher in the staff lounge and I couldn’t help but avert our eyes as the commercial progressed.

Now, I’m no PETA activist or die-hard vegan. However, I do care that the little meat that I do eat comes from a relatively happy animal and doesn’t have antibiotics infused in it.

Marketing implications aside, I have to commend Chipotle for creating such an accurate depiction of modern livestock production that can be used in the classroom as an educational tool.

America is one of the leading countries in meat and dairy consumption. We are also the leaders in cancer, diabetes and obesity rates. Some longitudinal and cross-sectional studies attribute our Western diet as a cause or at least a major contributor for these two correlations.  (For more information, watch the documentary Forks Over Knives).

“Meat is a good source of protein. It makes you strong,” people say.  Current production practices for meat is not only inhumane, but it also requires much energy, contributes to global warming, struggles to meet the demands, and is not sustainable.   Whether you see it as a new fad or a step towards a more vegetation-based diet, soy, almonds, and even coconut entering the new market as an alternative source for milk and protein.  Perhaps we need to look elsewhere for meat products to offset the emphasis placed on quantity rather than quality.

An overlooked abundant source of protein is insects!!!  Now, I know what you’re thinking. Gross.  I honestly cannot fathom putting legs that stick to my tongue or grubs that squirt….bleh…..  However, the West is behind in adopting what is considered a delicacy in other countries.  Plus, the advantages of farming bugs is inarguable: they don’t require much space and supply a high net energy yield (the amount of energy needed to produce it verses the amount of energy it provides nutritiously).

So how can I be disgusted if I haven’t actually tried it?  I have a personal motto that I will try everything at least once, so with more thought on the subject as I write about it, I’m actually excited at the thought of eating chocolate covered ants for a snack if it were available.   Now, this doesn’t mean you will see me on the sidewalk pouring chocolate  from a fondue fountain machine!!

(Watch this TED video for more information on the unrecognized resource of insects)

I went on a few unplanned tangents with this silly pig video… I guess my point through this all is to urge everyone to think about the future, be open-minded to change, and return to simpler values.  Food should be produced with work and love, and taste good! With no high fructose corn syrup!


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