My Journey for Sustainable Food
Last winter, my husband Dan and I noticed we were beginning to struggle in our quest for fresh, local food. As a Californian learning to endure my first Boston winter, I wanted more variety in our produce. At the same time Dan, a culinary school student, was learning more and more about the role of things like corn syrup and stabilizers in processed food. Between the two of us, we often ended up wondering what we could do to ensure that what we put into our bodies was healthy, fresh and ultimately unprocessed. So we took up cooking more and expanded our repertoire to include items like homemade bread, chicken stock, ice cream and others. Still, in hindsight we relied more often than we would have liked on cheap meat, poultry and dairy – often because it was what we could afford.
All of this came full circle recently in the sustainability class I took a few weeks ago. The day we talked about global food production – including factory farms, or Concentrated Animal Feedlot Operations (CAFOs) in the U.S. – I felt like the world opened up and swallowed me with it.
In Factory Farms, animals are packed in high-density pens, often with little or no room to move.
(Ashley’s Note: CAFOs are hugely depressing operations, in my opinion. For your sake and mine, I am not going to recount just how unhealthy and harmful these farms are for animals, for humans, for our economy and for our environment. I’ll just say that for a brief intro, google “Factory Farm” and see what comes up…)
Anyway, I had always wanted to believe that factory farming wasn’t my problem. Sure, Dan and I would buy our meat at big grocery stores and not really ever give any thought to where it came from. But, hey, this kind of farming was going on somewhere far away – so we couldn’t really see it. Plus, we were starving students and the meat was cheap. Right? Wrong.
In fact these are all really lame excuses.
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Ashley Jablow is a 2nd year MBA student, former nonprofit Fundraiser and Corporate Philanthropy Intern, and a motivated Changemaker.