When most people talk about being ecological they think, recycling, public transport, perhaps saving water? Not many people think about food. I didn’t really used to think about it either.
I grew up being an avid meat-eater. I hated vegetables, and I am currently working on introducing more and more vegetables in my diet. Like so many other things I’d never thought about, I think my turning point was Japan. A bit of background information: I am a coeliac (not a big problem in a country with a rice-based diet, right?) and meat there is outrageously expensive. Luckily my wonderful boyfriend being the resourceful man that he is managed to make great gluten-free, vegetable-based dishes… and they were delicious! We did have eggs and poultry, but that was about it. And I have to say I actually really enjoyed these dishes and realised I felt better when I didn’t eat meat (who would’ve though it!).
Back to Spain: I have to confess my main problem with meat was actually animal welfare. I love animals and, as some people would say, I’m over-sensitive. Being the city girl that I am, I had always managed to picture meat and animals as two separate things. So, a bit of Internet research brought me to the RSPCA “Freedom food” seal (that doesn’t cover slaughtering, right?) and slaughterhouse campaigns. I guess it’s a good start! My little step in the right direction on the animal welfare front so far is just eggs: going from factory-farmed (category 3) eggs to category 1 (free-range), although that’s only because I can’t find category 0 (ecologically fed) eggs for sale. In fact, finding free-range is not that easy either…
Having to read all the labels to check whether I could eat them was a real eye-opener though. Most of the snacks for sale here in Spain come from Turkey, China and Argentina. Take peanuts, for example. It looks like Pepsi started plantations in Spain in 2012, yet my peanuts come from China (?). Obviously it’s all down to the money and there’s only so much you can do, and this is perhaps the biggest challenge in cutting down food emissions, I guess cutting down on meat just isn’t enough.