The Green Truth about the Meat Packing Industry – as I Know It

See entire May 11, 2011 newsletter

When I was young (and I was young once – seriously) we used to have an expression “accidentally on purpose.” It seemed to fit some situations quite well back in the day. Well, about three weeks ago when I was doing research on carbon zero batteries (made from 100% recycled materials and 100% biodegradable), I accidentally on purpose clicked on a link on the battery page that read something like “Upsetting Video on Meat Packing Industry.” On the one hand, I am sorry I ever clicked on it. On the other hand, I know it was accidentally on purpose that I did. It really, really, really (yes – 3 reallys) upset me and shook me to my core. I knew it was bad but until watching this video, I guess I didn’t want to know how bad. I didn’t Facebook about it, I didn’t blog about it, I didn’t even send out a tweet. I sat with it, shared my tears with Mr. Green and another special friend, did lots more research and then honestly prayed about what I am supposed to do now. Answer? Just help raise the awareness and let people make their own choices – hopefully a consistent theme in Mrs. Green’s World.

Truth be told, the meat packing industry is, for the most part, a dirty, cruel, miserable and inhumane business. I am going to stand by that statement. Our meat shows up in our grocery stores neatly packaged, evenly cut, all lined up ready to take home. For the most part, the meat we consume is full of growth hormones, pesticides, GMOs, and antibiotics. That’s not good. The other ugly, upsetting truth is not just about what is in the meat we eat but about the way the animals are raised and slaughtered. Once you know, you can’t NOT know – isn’t that the way the expression goes? If you want to know, you can look at the video that Paul McCartney narrated at meat.org. Warning: it’s really upsetting. There are many more videos just like it.

So what’s a carnivore to do? For this carnivore, baby steps. First thing we are doing is cutting back on how much meat we eat. Couldn’t many of us do just that one thing? Next, we started going to the local university’s College of Agriculture’s meat sale every Friday. Their animals are grain fed, and raised and slaughtered humanely. I grilled them (so to speak) about all of the above issues before we made our first purchases. We are now purchasing eggs from chickens raised cage free and are talking to some friends about buying either a pig or a cow from someplace like 4H. It’s a process and we are open to suggestions/thoughts/ideas from you, and Mrs. Green will gladly share them.

And then for the wealthy, there is always Williams Sonoma. Yup, you read it right. My friend Cindy sent me this link when I told her what this newsletter was going to be about: Williams Sonoma Pure Bred. Their new online butcher shop offers meat from Pure Bred – meat that is pasture-raised on small farms, finished on an all-natural diet of grasses and grains, free of ALL growth hormones, pesticides, GMOs, and antibiotics. And bacon is only $30 a pound plus shipping if I read it right. A step in the right direction, love that Williams Sonoma is doing this but it’s not a solution for the masses. Let’s just all keep moving in the right direction – whatever that looks like for each of us.

Green Pebble in the Plastic Water Bottle Pond – A Good News Story

Imagine my delight when my friend Scott shared with me this story. Scott started realizing how many, many plastic water and Gatorade bottles parents were giving out at soccer games every single weekend – hundreds collectively. (Add up the thousands of games played every week around the country.) It was really bugging him. Being a loyal member of the Mrs. Green tribe, Scott figured out a solution. He bought several large Gatorade tubs, fills them with water for each game, and gives out paper cups. This is a perfect example of how one person can and DID make a difference for the planet. Scott, thanks for being the change you wish to see in the world.

Three Things You Should Know About Clean Cities

I could write a novella about all the things the Clean Cities Coalition is doing but you will just have to be okay with three and then read more about them on their website:

  1. Clean Cities is a voluntary program of the U.S. Department of Energy whose mission is to expand the use of alternatives to gasoline and diesel fuel, accelerate the use of alternative fuel vehicles and build local refueling infrastructure for these vehicles. (And they are.)
  2. Clean Cites is ranked as one of the top three coalitions in the nation and has been the recipient of numerous national awards. And I mean numerous.
  3. People can be a non-dues paying part of this coalition to stay informed about the vast amount of information and opportunities available in the ever changing alt-fuels, electric vehicle, and solar world!