Friday, July 13, 2012

"Yuppiefied" meat

Yesterday I was cruising through the health and fitness blogs and came across a blog written by an M.D. on the use of the Paleo (or Paleoesque) diet for treating diabetes.  This doctor is pretty much all for this, but he trots this out as a description of Paleo eating:
"Fresh, minimally processed food.  Meat (lean or not? supermarket vs yuppiefied?),..."

I've seen this appellation before, but never in a pro-paleo context.   Yuppiefied??? 

What he's referring to is meat that's raised in an ethical, biologically appropriate manner.  And frankly I find it horrifying not only that this is the norm - I've known that for a long time - but that attempts to provide meat in such a fashion are belittled and designated elitist and equated with buying a Range Rover instead of a Toyota.  By people who should know better.

Industrial meat production should be criminalized.  Yeah, it'll make meat more expensive.  Oh noes people might have to eat ALL the bits instead of just the steaks!!! Oh noes no more 12 oz chunks of meat on a plate!!!! I am all for meat consumption, but most people simply eat too much.  And yeah, it'll wipe out a massive market for subsidized grain.  Bummer that.  Maybe we could grow actual food on all that land previously occupied by heavily fertilized grain monocrops - after we restore it by sensible rotational grazing for a few years to rebuild the soil.  Hey, let's stop those stupid grain subsidies, too - subsidize VEGETABLES - you know, those things that are actually good for people to eat? 

It really, really bothers me that the food system is SO messed up that even people who know better consider decent-quality food to be not only less affordable but less necessary.  It's disturbing because everyone who cares about food, nutrition and health ought to care a LOT about how food is produced and distributed, and how food policy is made.  Accepting the status quo - that quality meat is only accessible by those with the economic means and social connections to procure it - doesn't help anyone.  Millions of people are suffering from calorie surpluses and nutrient deficiencies and doctors of all people ought not to be labeling a potential solution as "yuppiefied", and those who can and do choose to spend their money on quality meat rather than supermarket swill need not be belittled for making that choice.

And honestly - the price difference between the pasture-raised meat in my freezer and the stuff that Costco churns out is not that great.  I need to do some actual comparisons, but my suspicion is that the difference would turn out to be, on a monthly basis with MODEST meat consumption, approximately the same as what it costs for full cable TV service.  Priorities, people, priorities.  I don't wanna hear about how you can't afford good meat if you've got cable TV.


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