Monday, February 18, 2008

Rabbits, Radishes and Recalls

Well, after a busy weekend around the house, The Rabbitat is in place and the bunnies installed in their new home! There are still a few things to do to it, such as roll up panels for the front, a coat of varnish and the like, but it's totally habitable now (and better than the shed). Look for a picture later this evening!

In other news, we've noticed quite a few tiny sprouts coming up in our garden. This was a bit of a surprise - I thought they might take longer to come up since it's been fairly cold here lately. We've seen tiny shoots of radishes and a couple varieties of lettuce. They're so small that I had to get right on top of them to spot them, but they're there! With luck, we'll be eating backyard salad before we know it. The cabbage starts I planted last weekend are looking good too. I don't know if there will be time this weekend, but I'd like to start some seeds in the greenhouse now that it is in its permanent location. I'm thinking tomatoes and peppers to give us a jumpstart on summer.

Lastly, now that my happy news is covered, it's time for my rant. Having read quite a bit over the last couple of weeks about the massive beef recall that stemmed from the secret Humane Society video, I'm happier than ever about getting all our meat from a local pastured meat ranch. So happy, in fact, that I plan to write them today to let them know how grateful I am that they provide me with safe, delicious, humanely raised beef at such a reasonable price. I've written about them in previous posts, but I'd like to reiterate a few points here. YES, it is more expensive than supermarket meat, but only slightly. If I can't afford as much meat as before, my solution is to eat less meat. YES, it is more of a hassle than supermarket meat, but only slightly. I have to budget more and plan ahead because they require a minimum order, but knowing that we're eating cows that eat grass (as ruminants should) means more to me than any minor convenience. The meat on my table came from animals that were raised as they should be - with fresh air, natural diets, plenty of room to move around. The meat on my table will not make us sick, assuming I employ safe handling and cooking practices. The meat on my table did not come from a sick, used up dairy cow that could no longer walk.

What makes me most angry about this latest recall news is that it won't have a significant effect on people's buying habits. Sure, folks might back off the beef for a week or two, but as soon as the publicity dies down, they'll be right back to their commercial feedlot steaks and burgers. It kills me that even faced with such overwhelming evidence, most people simply can't be bothered to make a change. It's too expensive, or too much of a hassle, they say. Now, I love food, but I'm no food snob. I don't earn a lot. I absolutely understand that pastured meat is either not available or not affordable for many people. I don't expect families on a limited budget to suddenly start shelling out more of their precious dollars for pastured meat. What do I expect? That people who have the means should start doing it. I don't mean to come off sounding preachy here, but I think everyone must ask themselves just how much their health is worth, and how much risk and unconscionable activity they're willing to tolerate in exchange for convenience and a cheap price. I'm not nor will I ever be a vegetarian, but I'd rather avoid a food altogether than settle for a tainted, falsified and potentially unsafe version of it.

Read more about the recall and the video that started it here and here.


  1. The effectiveness of the Humane Society's video (which triggered this recall) demonstrates how technology compels all citizens and organizations to be ever more diligent about complying with laws and regulations.