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A Beefy Meal

by Meghann on July 13, 2009

There have been many reviews on Food Inc floating around this past month, including my own. Some rehash the facts, some promote change and others remain unbias. I highly suggest everyone go and see the movie on their own and develop their own opinions. Everyone takes away something different, but I believe the movie all makes us stop and think.

For instance while I was grocery shopping on Sunday I felt inspired to stop and read labels to see just exactly how far that piece of fruit or meat traveled to make it to that spot. Food Inc does an excellent job promoting the importance of local/ organic goods as a way to protect our future selves and the planet. I had unfortunately missed a trip to my favorite Farmer’s Market this week, but I did manage a Whole Foods excursion.

As I wandered Whole Foods I paid extra attention to the bright orange Local and organic signs. I picked up fresh in season produce. I did have a hard time finding items I wanted that were grown locally as Florida’s Hot, Hot weather throws off our seasons, but I reasoned with a few organic splurges that did not have to travel too far.

After watching Food Inc I paid attention in particular when I walked passed the meat counter. I bet I might be the only one out there who saw Food Inc and was actually inspired to purchase ground beef when I otherwise probably would not have. The meat department at my Whole Foods had Southern Raised Grass Fed Ground Beef from Southern Georgia for sale. Once I saw that option I felt compelled to support the farm and purchased ½ a pound.

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I know, I know it was a little pricey for $6.99 a pound, but one of my favorite quotes from the farmer in Food, Inc was “You wouldn’t purchase the cheapest car, why would you purchase the cheapest meat?” For some reason this line really spoke out to me. In reality I am just cooking for one person and as this was my first time purchasing actual ground beef in probably a year, the $6.99/lb price tag oddly did not sound too bad. Especially since I would be getting at least 2 meals out of the ½ pound purchase.

Immediately when I saw the ground beef the thought of a juicy hamburger came to mind, but upon deeper thought the idea of a true Meatloaf was too good to pass up.

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(sorry for the less then stellar photo!)

To me meatloaf is an American staple and everyone has their own way of creating the perfect one. I have perfected mine over the years and believe it’s a winner. It’s quick, easy and juicy and flavorful.

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb Grass Fed Organic Ground Beef 😉
  • 2 Heaping Squirts of Ketchup
  • Squirt of Honey Mustard
  • 1/2 cup Oats
  • 1/2 small Onion
  • Small Tomato, diced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oragano
  • Basil
  • Dried Onion

Simply combine all of the ingredients and form a loaf. I like to slather a little more ketchup on top as well. Bake in the oven at 375 for 35 minutes.

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With my meat loaf I had some organic Broccoli

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And Mashed Rutabaga.

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The mashed rutabaga in my opinion is better then plain mashed taters. I simply steamed the cubes of rutabaga until they were soft, then broke out the hand blender and went to town.

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The trick to creamy mashed rutabaga is the addition of Oikos Plain Greek Yogurt during the blending process.

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My environmentally friendly meal.

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If you have never tried grass fed beef I would suggest switching over and at least giving it a try. It has a unique flavor that oddly tastes fresher then normal beef. I wonder if I were to give the meal to an unexpecting person if they would notice the difference.

Now, if you follow my blog you will note any sort of meat on here is a rarity. In fact I am often asked if I am a vegetarian when obviously I am not. Instead I like to call myself a flexitarian. I do follow a mainly vegetarian diet simply for the fact I LOVE vegetables and like to promote them as a highlight in any and every meal. But as a true foodie I also appreciate meat and all the different wonderful tastes and textures that come with it.

I believe what the meat industry does to factory raised animals is wrong and I try to avoid purchasing and consuming it when ever possible. I, however, do encourage & support local, organic farmers who raise animals in an open, caring environment without the use of chemicals or drugs. For me, this is just the better option, but I know it is simply not possible for everyone. Maybe one day it will be. If there is anything we should take away from Food Inc, it’s ultimately we have the power for change, right?

I can’t promise how many meat themed meals you will find on here, but I promise they will all be organic and health friendly.

Now, I am going to step down from my high horse and get on with dessert. Which sadly isn’t 100% organic, but it was tasty. 😉

I tried the Chocolate Fig Vitatop with a scoop of SO Delicious Coconut Ice Cream.

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I liked the fig vitatop, it reminded me of the inside of a fig newton. Yum! 🙂

This afternoon I also snacked on an Honest Foods Bar while working at my desk.

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I really like these Honest Foods bars and their wonderful ingredient list.

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For a small bar they pack quite a hearty punch and can always fill me up for a couple hours.

Sorry, for the wordy post! I’ll be less wordy tomorrow. 😉

Good night!

1 Brandi July 13, 2009 at 9:00 pm

very true about the car/meat analogy. it’s hard for me to find local meat around here, but I do try to do the best I can whenever possible and work with what I have.

have a great night!

2 HelpMeghanRun July 13, 2009 at 9:11 pm

I really do like the car/meat quote. So many people are concerned because they think healthy food is “too expensive,” but they’re spending lots of money on other stuff. Why shouldn’t you spend some money for what fuels you? Meatloaf looks good!

HelpMeghanRun.com

3 biz319 July 13, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Meat is one thing you don’t want to go “cheap” on. While I do frequent my 50% off meat because its the sell by date, I immediately use it that night, or freeze it.

I once tried to put carrots in my husbands meatloaf – it didn’t go so well! 😀

4 Island Girl Eats July 13, 2009 at 9:12 pm

The meatloaf looked really good. I would put the leftovers and have it as a sandwich for lunch!

I can not wait to see Food, Inc. But sadly I think that I will have to wait for it to come out on dvd. I don’t think that we will get it on our small island!

5 Emily (A Nutritionist Eats) July 13, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Hmm, I do love some good grass-fed organic beef…. 🙂
I’m seeing the movie on Thursday and was kind of under the impression that I wouldn’t want to eat meat again – thanks for your opinion!

6 runnerskitchen July 13, 2009 at 9:25 pm

I made a grass-fed bison meatloaf over the weekend – classic american fare that i felt good about eating 🙂 if you’ve never tried bison/buffalo i highly recommend it! it’s high in iron and b12, but contains less fat, cholesterol, and calories than other meats.

7 MarathonVal July 13, 2009 at 9:26 pm

I love the quote about comparing your body to a car – it’s astonishing to me that so many people think it’s ok to put cheap, crappy stuff into their bodies when they put so much more money into things that are not as important – clothes, vacations, etc.

I am hoping to see Food Inc Saturday and can’t wait!!

8 Kelly July 13, 2009 at 9:32 pm

I definitely think you have a very educated point of view. It’s nice to see that you have researched the facts and have made an informed decision on eating meat products. I’ve had grass fed ground beef from Publix’s greenwise section but it’s been a while and I can’t remember if I thought it tasted different. Have a great night sister. Looking forward to Harry!

9 meg c July 13, 2009 at 9:37 pm

You weren’t on a high horse at all! I found your insights refreshingly unpretentious.

10 roseyrebecca July 13, 2009 at 9:56 pm

I’m seeing Food, Inc tomorrow night and I have a feeling I’ll be changing my meat purchases to organic when I get back to my apartment.

I’ve never heard of Honest Bars. I’ll have to try one!

http://roseyrebecca.wordpress.com/

11 Whit July 13, 2009 at 10:04 pm

I love meatloaf! Your recipe sounds fantastic!

I also agree on buying organic local meat. It makes such a difference. I used to eat a lot more meat than I do now, and I find I feel much better.

12 Danielle July 13, 2009 at 10:10 pm

This is a fantastic post Meghann! I only have meat or poultry to try an ethnic plate or family favorite and usually stick to pescatarian dishes but I agree with you 100% on what you said about the beef purchase. That part of the film certainly was very powerful. It’s amazing, in the saddest way, that people don’t consider that their health, their body, is worth the prices of better, healthier, more natural and whole foods. I sincerely hope that Food Inc. will bring about even the smallest of changes in the majority of meat-eating society 🙂

13 Hangry Pants July 13, 2009 at 11:06 pm

Another good argument is that some people are willing to pay more money for sneakers or jewelry and others are willing to spend more money on quality food. It’s just a matter of spending your money where and how you want to.

14 caitlin July 14, 2009 at 7:56 am

or eating OUT less. i get a lot of comments about my expensive grocery bill, but we hardly ever eat out. which is a waste of $$ anyway!

15 TorontoGirloutWest July 13, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Perhaps the Rocky Mountain prices have thrown my sense off but that looks really reasonable for such high quality beef!!!!

16 Christina July 13, 2009 at 11:51 pm

I wish Food, Inc would come to my town! Thanks for your mentions and thoughts on it though. I try to buy locally as well but the other day I purchased some fruit from a local farmer’s booth and when I got home saw a California sticker on it (I’m a NYer). It made me so mad!

That rutabaga looks really good. I’ve never really heard of it, I’ll have to try some soon!

17 Kathy (Moving Beyond Perfection) July 13, 2009 at 11:59 pm

I am so jealous of all those vitatop samples you got! They look yum! 🙂 Also, I guess I am really just paranoid, but ever since mad cow broke out, I stopped eating beef. I just HATE the idea that I might go crazy one day and not know it. I’d rather get bird flu or something and know right away what I have. haha yeah I guess that is weird. But also, my family was never huge at eating beef (maybe 4 times a year on whim?) so it was pretty easy for me to give up. Your meat loaf still looks good though!

18 Courtney July 14, 2009 at 3:33 am

I appreciate a nice wordy post once in a while! 🙂 Thanks for your insights about your meat choices. I would have done similarly. 🙂

Thanks,
Courtney
http://peacelovehealthiness.wordpress.com

19 kath July 14, 2009 at 7:13 am

Good for you for realizing supporting the
local farmer is sometimes more important than ignoring the whole industry.

20 D July 14, 2009 at 7:35 am

I am glad you enjoyed the grass fed meat. It does taste better and it is actually better for you to eat. Can not beat that.

Greate quote. It kills me that someone will complain it is too expensive to eat healthy, but drop quite a bit of money of makeup, clothes, etc…. Eating the real stuff is much more satisfying, anyway.

21 leslie July 14, 2009 at 8:14 am

mashed rutabaga with greek yogurt? you are so smart.

great quote about spending money on food. for some reason, people always seem to skimp on grocery costs first. i stick to a budget, but i would cut down on many many other things before i would start cutting food costs. health is too important!

22 Lauren July 14, 2009 at 8:33 am

Good point to raise about buying the cheapest car vs. the cheapest meat. If it goes into our bodies, it should be the best we can afford! A good portion of my income goes toward quality food – organic dairy products, produce, and the occasional meat purchase. Yay for flexitarianism!

Those Honest Foods bars are delish 🙂

23 Mara @ What's For Dinner? July 14, 2009 at 8:44 am

I buy grass-fed beef whenever I can find it, and i agree, it definitely tastes fresher! Same goes for grain-fed pork and wild-caught fish…

24 Krista July 14, 2009 at 8:50 am

I eat much the same as you in that I don’t need to have meat with every meal….or even every day! I’ve always eaten this way, even as a child, so I’ve never given it much thought, but my hubby commented to me a few weeks ago that he would consider me a flexitarian. The comment kinda took me aback, but in a good way!
Have you ever tried bison? I purchased some at Whole Foods a few weeks ago and made burger with it. They were fantastic!
Have a great day, Meghann!

25 Susan July 14, 2009 at 10:05 am

I like the idea of buying local, but I don’t get AS thrown off by imported products as some. I mean, if you think about it, humans have been trading food for as long as they’ve been harvesting it. It’s kinda what we do! Many of the local farmers around here actually ship their best products elsewhere, and we’re left with the crappy remains 🙁

I just started eating beef again. I’ll have to pick up some friendly ground cow and try out that meatloaf 🙂

26 j July 14, 2009 at 11:07 am

I agree with your point of view. I have no problem spending a lot on meat because it’s worth it! Like you, a half a pound can last for a few meals. I think sometimes people forget that red meat can be a part of a healthy diet.

27 Jess July 14, 2009 at 11:43 am

I love meatloaf, even though like you, I don’t eat it THAT much…espeically now that I live alone-it was a huge hit with my roomies in college.

I like the idea of the mashed rutabagas but I’ve never eaten them…do they have any benefits over a traditional potato or do you just like to mix up your starch of choice?

28 Betsy July 14, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Long time reader here, first time commenter – but I loved this post about local, organic, sustainable food.

The quote from Food, Inc. reminded me of a chapter from Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food where he details what percentage American’s spend on their food vs. other healthier countries. On average, in the US, we spend less than 9% on our food – seems a bit low considering this is what our body uses to thrive – while in European countries like France and Italy they spend closer to 20%.

If you ever get a chance, and are up for it, grass-fed, free-roam, raw milk is incredible. Tastes totally different.

29 Rebeca July 14, 2009 at 4:38 pm

This is beautifully written and I agree with your points. It’s not as much about meat or no meat, it’s about where ALL your food comes from, and taking responsibility for that. In the end what’s 3.56 versus 1.50 if it means the cow was never allowed to walk around so as not to ‘toughen’ him up or some other craziness!

30 Lauren July 15, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Has anyone ever tried the 100 calorie vitatops? Are they any better/worse for you? How are they different? Just curious!

31 Kate July 15, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Just wanted to let you know, grass FED only means that at some point in the animal’s life, it was able to eat something besides grain; this can mean grass, and often this can mean mouldy old hay. So the term grass fed can be very deceiving because it is so open to interpretation.

What is a better alternative is grass FINISHED meat, in which the animals has been allowed to live on a pasture and eat actual grass for it’s entiure lifespan. We always buy grass finished beef because I want to support farms that let animals roam and sustain pasture land. Very important to me.

Just wanted to let you know that the difference between the two terms so that you know what you’re buying and eating! Love your blog!

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