Friday, May 6, 2011

EAT: Let's Grill!

'Tis the season to break out the grill. So, let's talk about grilling some meat! Probably once a month, my husband tells me how thankful he is that I am not a vegetarian. While he loves many of Courtney's vegetarian recipes, he is (without a doubt) a meat eater. When you are craving a juicy burger, you can make some choices that will make less of an environmental impact.

Livestock emissions are among the highest contributors to greenhouse gases, so eating meat less frequently is better for our planet. I'm still working on convincing Jose of this. Eat smaller portions or combine the meat with veggies, and I'm betting that you won't notice much of a difference.

Choose meat that is local. Most cities have farmers' markets up and running, so start there. Talk to the farmers or vendors. Simply buying your beef, chicken or turkey locally decreases the amount of gas required and pollution created.

Ask the vendors how their beef or chicken is raised. Often, farmers will use organic methods for raising meat or vegetables without being certified organic due to costs. Free-range, grass-fed is best. Even when eggs or chicken are labeled as "cage-free" the animals may never step foot outside. They simply have an access point to the outdoors. Worry less about labels and more about conditions. Not only is this better for the animals and environment, but it's better for you.

Make better choices while grilling. Use lump charcoal instead of briquets and a charcoal chimney instead of lighter fluid. Your charcoal grill will then be closer to carbon neutral. If you're going to use a gas grill, try to purchase one that is energy efficient.

Don't give in to the quick clean-up temptation. Even if you're eating outside, use your regular dishes and cloth napkins. The plastic plates and paper napkins may seem like part of the season, but they don't need to be.

Get outside and enjoy!

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