Ever Since we had the guest lecture on sustainable nutrition, I really started to question my own diet. Growing up I was always active playing two different sports and ate healthy home cooked meals my mother prepared. These meals were centralized around a meat or poultry as the main dish as a source of protein. I grew up eating meat almost every day for at least two meals a day. My parents had grown up in what use to be a third world country known as Kosovo today, and their diets were mainly made up of meat proteins from the chickens and cows they had raised on their own farms, and of course vegetables and grains. So, when they moved to America they continued to eat the same. Only difference was we didn’t farm our own chickens or cows anymore. When some people told me they were vegetarian or vegan I had always thought this was just some fab that would come and go. Just as one year doctors would tell us eggs were harmful to our cholesterol, and now they are named a super food! I never looked at meat protein, especially chicken as having any harmful effects. I was aware red meats were not best to have often, however, my family eats a lot of grilled chicken.
After our food production section of class, I learned a lot of new facts about the foods we produce and eat today. The Food Inc documentary was the first time I had felt disgusted by meat and poultry due to such careless production, and a lack of real sustainable farming. This is when I first realized how far food production had gone, because before this I will admit when it came to environmental science, I was not informed about the food portion of the study.
We had learned about how companies were modifying chickens forcing them to grow bigger and quicker than they naturally can, and during the sustainable nutrition guest lecture we had talked about those types of industrialized caused effects on humans. We learned that what use to be chicken breasts were perfectly fine for us to eat, however, now that they have been forcefully enlarged they have more fat in them, raising our cholesterol and essentially clogging our arteries leading to major health issues such as heart diseases.
This really made me take action and change my outlook on my diet and the way I purchase groceries and foods. It also made me want to inform my friends and family, which I have had a hard time doing…I am starting to no longer want to purchase any meat or poultry at the grocery store, and even desiring to eat no eggs at all. I didn’t force myself, it had just started to happen naturally. But, if I was out to eat especially at an organic restaurant, I would treat myself to a burger or chicken salad, but I do not want to make it at home anymore. I think what really sparked this change was when I opened my eyes to the effects it was or will have on my body. Of course, at first when we learned about food production and watched the documentary, I wanted to do something in my own life to be an example to others in order to make a change. I told myself I never wanted to eat meat ever again, but then the next night I had a burger. And then I would say “well, so much for that.”
So what I have learned from my own reaction is that generally, the human population is selfish. I truly started to make a real change in my diet once I was realizing my own health could be severely affected from the meats I eat so often. I only started being open to making a change when it came to bettering the environment. In a way, we can use an incentive giving method to educating and getting people to make a change in their diets by making it known that if you give up the meat you improve your health.