Fire Up the Grill for a Mouthwatering Red, White, and Green July 4th
Washington, D.C.— Hungry for grilled fare this July fourth but ready to declare your independence from the same old burgers and dogs? Then try grilling with organic, hormone-free meat and poultry, raised outdoors— not confined in factory farms. You’ll have the confidence that your food was safely handled and was raised humanely, with the least negative impact on the environment. Your family and friends will notice the better taste and the healthy quality of your holiday menu.
“The majority of meat consumed this fourth of July will come from mega livestock operations, or ‘factory farms' that rely on drugs to speed growth and crowded, factory-like conditions to create massive economies of scale,“ says Danielle Nierenberg, Worldwatch Institute researcher and author of a recent article on factory farming. “These factory farms not only make life miserable for the animals, but ultimately impact people eating the meat by contributing to antibiotic resistance, increasing the risk of food-borne illness, and dumping tons of waste into our streams and rivers.“
“Organic meat and produce, raised on smaller, local farms, rather than on large commercial farms, not only tastes better, but is a healthy, environmentally sound alternative.“
Nierenberg also notes that eating less meat or adopting a vegetarian diet are even better ways to do right by the environment. Even the slightest reduction in meat consumption will have positive effects on the health of society and the environment. If Americans cut beef consumption by 10 percent per year, they would save enough grain to feed 60 million people.
Food for Thought: Background Stats and Links
- So far in 2003, the US Food Safety Inspection Service has announced 27 meat recalls. Several involve tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds of product.
Give a Hoot, Factory Farms Pollute*:
- The US meat industry produced some 1.4 billion tons of waste in 1997— five tons of animal waste for every US citizen. (USDA)
- Current farming practices cause about 70% of the pollution in the nation's rivers and streams. (EPA)
- Approximately 70% of all antibiotics in the U.S. are fed to healthy pigs and poultry to promote growth and compensate for crowded, unsanitary conditions found on factory farms. (Union of Concerned Scientists)
*See Grace Factory Farm Project (www.factoryfarm.org) for these and other statistics
Meat Production Hoards Resources:
- It takes over 600 gallons of water to produce meat for an average quarter pound hamburger.
- The livestock population of the U.S. is fed enough grain and soybeans each year to feed the entire human population five times over.
- It takes two to four times more land to feed an average meat-eating American than a vegetarian.
The Brighter Side**
- The cost per unit for agricultural production is no better in larger commercial operations than on family farms.
See Grace Factory Farm Project (www.factoryfarm.org)
Sources and Links:
- Vital Signs 2003, Worldwatch Institute: www.worldwatch.org/press/news/2003/05/22/
- World Watch magazine, May/June 2003: www.worldwatch.org/press/news/2003/04/17/
- Home Grown, Worldwatch Institute: www.worldwatch.org/press/news/2002/11/21/
- Grace Factory Farm Project: www.factoryfarm.org
- Living a Sustainable Lifestyle for Our Children's Children by Warren Flint and W.L. Houser: www.eeeee.net/sd05000.htm
- To find retailers and restaurants that sell organic products, visit the Eat Well Guide: www.iatp.org/eatwell/orgResults.cfm
- Download the Green Guide's pocketsized smart shopping guides for meat, fish and poultry: www.greenguide.com
Three “Good for You“ Recipes that are Tasty AND Easy on the Environment
Ready for a healthy, red, white, and green Fourth of July? Fire up your grill and try these easy to prepare recipes from Nora Pouillon, chef and owner of Nora’s Restaurant in Washington, D.C.— the nation’s first certified organic restaurant. All of the ingredients are seasonal and therefore available organically at your local farmer’s market or grocery store.
“To make you meal healthy choose only fresh organic ingredients. It will improve the flavor as well as the nutritional value of the meal. Also, try to avoid heavy, fatty, starchy foods such as chips, cornbread, potato salad or coleslaw,“ states Pouillon.
The following recipes each serve four. For easy preparation marinate the chicken, steak, and vegetables the day before and refrigerate them over night so they are ready to be grilled on July 4th. The accompaniments can also be prepared the day before.
For help finding organic, local meats and vegetables, visit the Institute for Agricultural and Trade Policy’s “Eat Well Guide,” at www.iatp.org/eatwell/orgResults.cfm, a free online tool that offers state-by-state listings of organic producers, retailers and restaurants.
1. GRILLED ROSEMARY-MARINATED NEW YORK STRIP STEAK WITH RATATOUILLE
Marinated New York Strip Steak
2 TBSP tamari or soy sauce
1 TBSP minced onion
2 TBSP minced garlic
2 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp minced rosemary
3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
4 New York strip steaks or other steak, about 8 ounces each
Combine the tamari, onion, garlic, olive oil, rosemary, ginger and mustard in a medium bowl and whisk to blend. Put the steaks in a glass or non-reactive baking dish and pour the marinade over them. Allow to marinate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight, in the refrigerator. Preheat the grill or broiler. Grill or broil the steaks for about 4 minutes on each side, for medium rare, or until of desired doneness.
1 medium onion, chopped
3 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 pounds eggplant with peel, cubed
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 pound zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
3 medium red or yellow peppers, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped, mixed fresh herbs such as thyme, oregano and parsley
freshly ground black pepper
bouquet of fresh herbs, for garnish