Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cruelty-Free Thanksgiving Tips

The more people learn about the FDA, the less they trust it, and with good reason. Horror stories about factory farming and processed foods have caused many people to eat more whole foods and less meat. But what about Thanksgiving? The holiday dedicated to eating a huge meal, a dead bird being the main course, may make it difficult to stick to a new chemical-free eating plan.

Good news: you do not have to eat raw vegetables and Tofurkey to have a cruelty-free Thanksgiving dinner. I eat meatless 95% of the time these days and even I can admit Tofurkey is the last thing I want to see on my table this holiday. Actually, it’s fairly easy to make a few small changes and still enjoy a delicious, traditional dinner. After all, in 1621, there were no factory farms or big government running the agriculture industry. Consider getting back to your roots with these tips:

1)Buy an organic, free-range turkey this year. Yes, it’s more expensive and yes, some “free-range” farms are myths. But trust me, you do not want to know what your factory farmed turkey was walking in, eating or exposed to before it was slaughtered. Let’s just say it is well worth the extra cash. Your best bet is buying from a local farm. If you don’t live in the right area, websites like www.organicprairie.coop will ship a turkey to you. Not only is hormone-free meat better for you, it tastes better too.

2)Serve organic produce for your side dishes. Instead of that unoriginal green bean casserole, serve a fresh spinach salad free of pesticides but full of flavor. Slow roast some organic carrots for another awesome side dish.

3)Try using fruit that is in season and local for your desserts. Of course, no one is asking you to give up the pumpkin pie. Here’s a recipe that doesn’t call for hormone-filled milk or eggs: http://veganconnection.com/recipes//pumpkin_pie.htm

4)Since a turkey gave his all for you, consider giving back. Donate to your local food shelter or to an organization like this: http://www.adoptaturkey.org

5)Toast with the greatest invention of all time: organic wine. No sulfites means no hangover (unless, of course, your family annoys you so much you drink the entire bottle). It’s more flavorful, it’s delicious and it’s more affordable than ever.

As long as you limit your portions, Thanksgiving can be as much fun as it was when you were a kid and calories didn’t matter. And if you’re not contributing to atrocities like factory farming and the poisoning of our food, you should enjoy the gluttonous holiday guilt-free.


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