Where did this food actually come from?
I’ve been asking myself the question before I eat anything lately, and it’s surprising how often I don’t know the answer.
For the past week I’ve avoided eating anything with known animal (fish, bird, animal) origins. I’m sticking to fruits, vegetables and grains. It’s my vegan experiment. The reason isn’t really because my cholesterol is high, although it is really too high. And it’s not because I’ve accepted anyone else’s challenge, I haven’t. It has to do with a strange conversation I had recently on the origin of cheese.
As a geneticist, the origins of things always intrigue me. I’m definitely interested in where all kinds of things come from originally. I am the one who is looking at anything from genealogy to the fiber content of the garment to the country of origin on the produce. Where the coffee was grown and processed, where the rice was imported from matters for quality, and whether fair trade practices protected the people involved. So many people touch each ingredient before we buy it. I often wonder about these web-like traces that connect us when I cook.
When it comes to food of animal origins, the answers to questions of origin quickly become distasteful if not down right disgusting. Take cheese for example. I really used to enjoy cheese. But last week a friend asked me if I really did feel the need to eat old, molded, dried out material that came from a cow’s nipple, which was actually meant for her calf. That did it.
You might think it is difficult to follow a vegan diet. But truthfully it’s become quite easy and natural, when I ask myself that question first: so, where exactly did this come from?
I expect I’m about to lose some weight.
Have you ever tried to change your diet?
Does the vegan diet appeal to you?
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