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?