Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What is on your "No Compromise" list

Last year one of the contributors on the Simple, Green, Frugal blog discussed the concept of 'no compromise' purchases.  Purchases which for some reason or another - ethical or environmental - you feel very strongly about what product you will buy.

After reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food over the weekend, this has been back at the forefront of my mind.

This is my no compromise list:
  • Fairtrade chocolate, tea and coffee.
  • Free-range eggs and chicken.
  • Free-range ham and bacon.
However, in light of some commentary in Michael Pollan's book I am wondering whether I should be seeking out organic options for my poultry, eggs and bacon.  In Pollan's book it is pointed out that "free-range" refers only to the ability of poultry to access a small outside area - not necessarily a green area either.  They are also often only grain fed rather than being allowed to forage.

In terms of bacon, I have been buying Castlemaine Australian Bred Free Range which is the only free-range bacon I have been able to find readily available.  However, I do wonder what exactly "bred free range" means - what happens after the birth; how humanely is the animal raised?

I am also beginning to think about beef.  Since pastoral scenes of grazing beef cattle is common in Australia it had never occurred to me that cattle could be raised in feedlots.  If this is the case, I am going to have to be very careful where we source any future meat purchases from.  

Oh, and milk - what about the antibiotics given to cow's to prevent infection?  After nursing Ginger for all this time I have a heightened consciousness about how readily anything given to a lactating mother (be it human or bovine) makes its way to the milk supply.

Aghh, so many things to get my head around.  Not to mention price differentials.  My husband is definitely not going to be a vegetarian any time soon so these are ethical and health issues I really need to consider.  Anyway, when I shop I will continue to abide by my no-compromise list, though it may be strengthened over time.

What is on your no-compromise list?


  1. Hi - I won't buy anything made in China, or any where else with appalling human rights. I only buy English food, grown and produced in England, including English wheat. It's hard to find eggs that are not free range and in most supermarkets, they are the only ones they use. I buy meat from the local butchers and most of the meat, I can see on the hoof on the local farms, it's also slaughtered locally. Fish? we catch it ourselves from the local rocks and we forage for shell fish.

  2. hmm, an interesting topic of conversation. Some of the things I wont compromise on are-
    Organic chicken because of the growth hormones
    free range eggs. I hadn't thought about free range meat as I go past grean fields with cows grazing every day so I presumed thats how all cows live without realy thinking about it. I might look into that a little more.
    Also natural fibre clothing

  3. Yes, i often consult my conscious when buying products. I get eggs from a friend who has chooks in his yard (definitely free-range) and i love buying local produce from the markets. I will only buy free-range chicken as well. I find it tough like you, and it frustrates me when one group is telling you one thing, and then it contradicts another, it's all so confusing!!! Good luck on your quest to find the right balance!

  4. You're so good. I do shudder at the thought of chickens raised in horrid conditions. I always gravitate toward natural fibers, too.

  5. Exactly why i can not wait to produce all our own happy meat products, from our paddock to our plates. That way i don't have to worry about packaging, transport or power - as we're going solar!! Hey, come to my place!! We buy from Farmers Markets in the mean time, that "certified organic logo" is the most strictly adhered to & respected logo a company can have!!
    Cleaning, i try to use Enjo as much as possible, clean with water & fibre. Love Posie

  6. Ahhh - Love the comment on the husband not becoming Vegetarian anytime soon. Mine is the same - however I have managed to bring him around to one vegetarian meal a week.
    I am with you ont he free-range/organic thing - it is so hard to know - I am looking forward to moving closer to Tim's parents. Our lamb will come from the farm and I know first hand how they are cared for. The kids are wanting Chickens (for Christmas - not certian that is going to happen that quick - but we will see)
    You will have to try the buffalo sausages when you get to Darwin. The little butcher at Palmerston makes (or made - who know what occurs now) his own and it took me a long time to come around to trying them but so glad that I did (and half the price of standard sausages.

  7. I really don't have such a list, but only last week I suddenly decided we should try to get the omega-3 eggs; and if we can't, then at least free range, or cage-free. It's the first time I've thought about such a thing as far as shopping is concerned - money is also a factor, and it's not always easy to afford all the best stuff.

  8. We have kept chooks for a few years now but I have been known to go to great lengths to get my hands on backyard eggs in days gone by. I cannot stand a shop bought egg.

    I only like to buy Barambah Organic milk as well. Providing I can afford it. We go through 10 litres a week, so it can get pricey.

    I feel suspicious about that Castlemaine ham and bacon as well. I watched Food Inc. recently and it changed the way I feel about free range chicken too.

  9. Hi PH! Can you send me your address so I can put you on the Ratty, Mole, and Toad route? They are ready and leaving here on Saturday. My email is