Author Topic: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons  (Read 3529 times)

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« on: October 17, 2018, 01:56:29 pm »
I'm trying to do this and I'm finding it very challenging.

The biggest part of the problem is that I have spent getting on for 65 years on this planet in which the vast majority of my main meals have had some sort of meat content. It's my comfort zone and I really enjoy eating meat. Not doing so involves a great deal of culinary creativity. Basically, Jan and I tend to prepare what our parents prepared food-wise, although I think we cook vegetables for less time. 3 veg, i meat variety, and that's the main meal. Very easy to prepare, tasty to eat. It seems to me that preparing vegetarian food involves a great deal more faff and the results are normally much less interesting.

Is anyone else tying to up their veggie ration to 2 days a week, with the hope of going further if it works?
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2018, 02:36:04 pm »
You need to stop trying to do traditional meals "just without meat" WoW. It really doesn't work well or at least is dull dull dull. Might not be too heathy either, you need to replace that protein (and other things) you got from the meat somehow.
Get an Indian or Middle Eastern cookbook. Loads of good tasty veggie recipes usually based on pulses of some kind or another. Learn to love the chickpea !

As I said in my other post you could also start using game. Rabbit is a nearly inexhaustible resource and cheap just find a butcher or game dealers where they can guarantee its wild not farmed. Venison as a treat occasional.  Also find a good butcher that does mutton from highland sheep, good for all those stews and tagines and just use less whist bulking the dish out with pulses.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2018, 05:01:25 pm »
Simplest way to do it would be make no change to the frequency and reduce the quantity.  Then whatever meat you normally buy, spend the same on less.  Unless you're already buying from the best suppliers,  that'll compensate the reduced quantity with better quality, which in itself is likely to have been produced in a less environmentally harmful way.

Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2018, 10:36:07 pm »
Don't think I can give up meat either, but we eat fish twice a week, mainly oily ones such as sardines, mackerel, salmon, and have a vegetarian meal once. Fortunately Mrs O is a good cook, and can prepare many international cuisines. Tagine is very flexible and tasty with or without meat, and yesterday we had a butternut squash and halloumi cheese bake.

We have a box of organic vegetables every week, and it comes with suggested recipes for the seasonal veg therein. We use otherwise uneaten veg by making soup for lunch.

We try to stick to organic meat and make good use of it. Just as my mother used to do, we generally have a roast at weekends, eat the remainder cold on Monday, and make a third meal if there's still some left over, such as shepherds or cottage pie, or spring rolls from pork.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2018, 11:02:30 pm »
I am trying to cut down for cost and environmental reasons. It will be hard to dump it altogether but I think I may do it one day (though I will always accept meat if it's been cooked for me anyway like at Christmas).

So far my best bets have been using less of it via using a "normal" amount of meat in a 'bulked out' meal which lasts a few days like a risotto and using off-cuts which would have been thrown in the bin anyway like kidneys and liver.

It is sobering when you really weigh up the impact of industrial agriculture. I was on a national trust working holiday a few years ago and the amount of work it took to look after SSSIs which were in danger of having artificially enriched soil from cow shit washed down the hillside by rain was a shock.

The way to go about it I find most efffective is to try more diverse and interesting vegetarian recipes. You can use effort saved from preparing meat to using different spices, herbs and whatnot with your veg. Give some vegetarian cookbook recipes inspired by Asian grub a go!
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Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2018, 11:43:48 pm »
I've drifted away from meat in my home cooking since an exclusion diet last Winter felt like ALL MEAT ALL OF THE TIME.

Have yet to properly nail the protein levels (protein shakes on stand by as a fallback) but I've recently been exploring Jack Monroe's recipes, many of which happen to be vegan.

Poised to do a second vat of this one: https://cookingonabootstrap.com/2018/07/21/peach-chickpea-curry-recipe/
(which is very low on faff).

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2018, 02:00:33 am »
The big challenge for the world is getting tired old dinosaurs to change their ways and to make tired old dinosaur thinking abhorrent.

The trouble is that dinosaur behaviour is looked up to and seen as aspirational.

As for modern farming, how many litres of diesel per tonne of crop?

The world will be saved by an appalling virus, not stopping eating meat.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of Númenor
Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2018, 06:54:49 am »
Since my son started dating a vegetarian (and none egg/onion/onion family but that is another story) we have had many delicious vegetarian meals.

It does require new knowledge on what/how to cook, but adaptation is possible. For example, this week we have been having a really nice red thai chicken curry. This has little chicken, and much veg - including squash. Frankly it would be just as nice without the chicken.

I do love meat though - and I'll never completely give up on burgers and steaks.

Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2018, 07:29:27 am »
The big challenge for the world is getting tired old dinosaurs to change their ways and to make tired old dinosaur thinking abhorrent.

The trouble is that dinosaur behaviour is looked up to and seen as aspirational.

As for modern farming, how many litres of diesel per tonne of crop?

The world will be saved by an appalling virus, not stopping eating meat.
In the context, that's a little unfair, you don't even know if Wow is tired. Plus he's actually asking how to change.

To answer the OP, it really depends on your openness to change, not so much in the theory (which is clearly there) but in the practice (which I suspect could be there, but is a matter of breaking habits) along with enthusiasm for cooking. There's no question in my mind that cooking a veggie meal takes a more effort than meat and two veg, but not necessarily that much more.

There are actually three parts to a successful change, in my view

- breaking the link between meant'n'two veg for a meal. Which really means breaking the habit of the meals you tend to have and finding that you can make and enjoy other ways of building a meal. No point doing any of this if you don't enjoy the alternatives as much as you do the originals, or even enjoy them more. Loads of stuff in cookery columns/websites that might give you a start there.

- reducing the meat used by choosing dishes that make it go a lot further by incorporating it with other stuffs. There's a whole area of rather good peasant cooking built around that.

- finding meals that you enjoy that have no meat, coincidentally rather than purposefully.

One way of doing it is looking at alternative food on the supermarket shelves (you do have a waitrose?) and either choosing that or using it as inspiration for something you cook at home.


ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2018, 07:51:19 am »
I think that's the main thing, just breaking the belief that a meal has to feature meat as its centrepiece. I was veggie for many years but even now, I don't have to have meat in a meal. It's not even a conscious thing. There's a zillion recipes that don't need meat. And when we do eat meat, we go for quality over quantity. Get the decent, ethically produced free-range/outdoor stuff rather than industrial BOGOF stuff from a slaughterfactory. Better for you, better(ish) for them.
!nataS pihsroW

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2018, 09:30:11 am »
Since my son started dating a vegetarian (and none egg/onion/onion family but that is another story) we have had many delicious vegetarian meals.

We used to have a tech at work who was shacked up with a proselytizing vegan. He wouldn't touch meat at our office in Paris, but when we had an installation to do in Portugal he shovelled down the steak like a starving dog then turned veggie on the last day so that she wouldn't smell it on him back home.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2018, 09:44:35 am »
The big challenge for the world is getting tired old dinosaurs to change their ways and to make tired old dinosaur thinking abhorrent.

The trouble is that dinosaur behaviour is looked up to and seen as aspirational.

As for modern farming, how many litres of diesel per tonne of crop?

The world will be saved by an appalling virus, not stopping eating meat.
In the context, that's a little unfair, you don't even know if Wow is tired. Plus he's actually asking how to change.

To answer the OP, it really depends on your openness to change, not so much in the theory (which is clearly there) but in the practice (which I suspect could be there, but is a matter of breaking habits) along with enthusiasm for cooking. There's no question in my mind that cooking a veggie meal takes a more effort than meat and two veg, but not necessarily that much more.


 Yes, granted if taken in this context, but with the wider question of environmental impact, it is about getting a fast change in a lot of people who are resistant to it.

We have the first Vegan football club in the world in my town, and tired old dinosaurs have had a big struggle with it. Many have embraced it and i have to say the food is very good. The away fans regularly explain where veggie burgers can fit.

Cooking veggie meals requires finding new recipes, which are readily available. I use an app to locate and store recipes, and pretty much approach cooking I as i did before - looking for a recipe, trying it out and marking it as reusable if it is tasty and straightforward. I’ve got a set of meat dishes collected over time, and now a growing set of veggie dishes.

Ultimately, though, I’m not sure if converting diets is the answer.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2018, 10:01:04 am »
One of the main reasons humans are more advanced than other species and thus dominate the planet, is the invention of fire. Once we discovered fire, we realised we could cook meat, which made it take less time to eat. Contrast that to, say, lions, who spend most of their time chewing their meat - meaning they haven't got time to do things like build cities.

Examples of species that don't eat meat: cows, giraffes, goats. I think the cleverest herbivore is probably actually the parrot. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_herbivorous_animals

A good principle in general, is when you ask a question, try not to indicate what you want the answer to be. But it's funny when the person assumes incorrectly what you want the answer to be. Such as invariably happens in canteens:
"Is this burger veggie?"
"Yep!"
"Oh, I'll have a different one then."
;D
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2018, 11:03:27 am »
...the wider question of environmental impact, it is about getting a fast change in a lot of people who are resistant to it.
....
Ultimately, though, I’m not sure if converting diets is the answer.

Isn't it worse than that? It is attempting to achieve change in an areas where there is beyond-massive vested interest not just in the status quo, but in advancing the meat diet agenda.

The answer is, as ever, the only person you can change is yourself. Whether that does any good in the wider scheme of things is another question, but actually there's sufficient cause to modify diet from personal vested interest due to the health and wellbeing aspects.

Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2018, 11:10:49 am »
One of the main reasons humans are more advanced than other species and thus dominate the planet, is the invention of fire. Once we discovered fire, we realised we could cook meat, which made it take less time to eat. Contrast that to, say, lions, who spend most of their time chewing their meat - meaning they haven't got time to do things like build cities.

Examples of species that don't eat meat: cows, giraffes, goats. I think the cleverest herbivore is probably actually the parrot. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_herbivorous_animals

A good principle in general, is when you ask a question, try not to indicate what you want the answer to be. But it's funny when the person assumes incorrectly what you want the answer to be. Such as invariably happens in canteens:
"Is this burger veggie?"
"Yep!"
"Oh, I'll have a different one then."
;D
The evidence for your claims (use of fire = cooking meat = advances in civilization) are, I suggest, non existent. It takes a hell of a lot of time to build and energy to maintain a fire. Have you ever gathered and kept a fire going outdoors, for more than a couple of hours?

Everything I have read about advancement in civilization for human beings comes down to tool making and agriculture. The two are linked.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2018, 12:36:50 pm »
One of the main reasons humans are more advanced than other species and thus dominate the planet, is the invention of fire. Once we discovered fire, we realised we could cook meat, which made it take less time to eat. Contrast that to, say, lions, who spend most of their time chewing their meat - meaning they haven't got time to do things like build cities.

Examples of species that don't eat meat: cows, giraffes, goats. I think the cleverest herbivore is probably actually the parrot. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_herbivorous_animals

A good principle in general, is when you ask a question, try not to indicate what you want the answer to be. But it's funny when the person assumes incorrectly what you want the answer to be. Such as invariably happens in canteens:
"Is this burger veggie?"
"Yep!"
"Oh, I'll have a different one then."
;D
The evidence for your claims (use of fire = cooking meat = advances in civilization) are, I suggest, non existent. It takes a hell of a lot of time to build and energy to maintain a fire. Have you ever gathered and kept a fire going outdoors, for more than a couple of hours?

Everything I have read about advancement in civilization for human beings comes down to tool making and agriculture. The two are linked.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catching_Fire:_How_Cooking_Made_Us_Human
"...Cooking had profound evolutionary effect because it increased food efficiency which allowed human ancestors to spend less time foraging, chewing, and digesting...."
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2018, 02:20:42 pm »
"Is this burger veggie?"
"Yep!"
"Oh, I'll have a different one then."

This can be a good principle on the basis of politeness.  Event catering is a zero-sum game, and if the omnivores scoff all the veggie food, the veggies are liable to miss out.

Catering top tip: Put the meat stuff out first.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2018, 02:35:54 pm »
Contrast that to, say, lions, who spend most of their time chewing their meat - meaning they haven't got time to do things like build cities.

Lions spend on average 20 hours a day asleep. This suggests to me that the real reason they don't build cities is that they're lazy feckers.

Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2018, 02:43:18 pm »
"Is this burger veggie?"
"Yep!"
"Oh, I'll have a different one then."

This can be a good principle on the basis of politeness.  Event catering is a zero-sum game, and if the omnivores scoff all the veggie food, the veggies are liable to miss out.

Catering top tip: Put the meat stuff out first.

I like that one! ;D That's an excellent reason never to try veggie food.  :D

I can now validly claim to be a non-vegetarian for ethical reasons.  :thumbsup:



On the flip side, if an (ethical) vegetarian turns up and all the veggie food has been scoffed, then they obviously don't need to be a vegetarian.  :P
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2018, 02:44:10 pm »
Contrast that to, say, lions, who spend most of their time chewing their meat - meaning they haven't got time to do things like build cities.

Lions spend on average 20 hours a day asleep. This suggests to me that the real reason they don't build cities is that they're lazy feckers.

True.
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2018, 02:48:09 pm »
Contrast that to, say, lions, who spend most of their time chewing their meat - meaning they haven't got time to do things like build cities.

Lions spend on average 20 hours a day asleep. This suggests to me that the real reason they don't build cities is that they're lazy feckers.

Are they lazy or is the digestive effort leaving them sleepy?

Storable carbs facilitated the development of literacy and culture...

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2018, 03:40:10 pm »
Are they lazy or is the digestive effort leaving them sleepy?

Nah, definitely lazy. It's their sense of entitlement - someone once told them they're the king of the jungle and they don't think they have to make an effort any more.

Quote
Storable carbs facilitated the development of literacy and culture...

The old opposable thumbs thing didn't hurt either.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2018, 09:07:55 pm »
Lions are not lazy. They're tired from the exhausting hair care regime.
!nataS pihsroW

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2018, 10:07:02 am »
yebbut that's only the blokes
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Reducing meat intake for environmental reasons
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2018, 12:33:55 pm »
I'm sure the lady lions help with the blowdrying and hairspray.
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