Thoughtfultarian

March 29, 2011

After working on my massive Home Clean Home post, Matt and I scooted out for a fundraiser at Cville Coffee for the Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund hosting none other than the famous Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm!

I’ve been an admirer of Joel’s since first reading Michael Pollan’s books and was excited to hear him speak

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We first paid a visit to the bakery and saw they have begun to tear down the old awning! Exciting!

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Inside at the event, there was food from a handful of delicious Cville restaurants – Mas, Beer Run, Rapture, Baja Bean, Whole Foods.

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I filled up on cauliflower and beets from Mas (both of which were divine!)

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Plus smoked paprika goat cheese!

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And anchovies!! I am brave :) They are much fishier than sardines! But they were good.

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There was also octopus (I think!), bean dip, hummus and some really good pita chips. On the edge of my plate – a Hello Dolly bar and a walnut bar, which I shared with Matt. He shared a bite of his black bean quesadilla!

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A glass of red –

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I was in front of an audience taking these photos! I bit embarrassing, but you gotta stand by your career choice!

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My audience turned out to be KERF readers!! So I’m sure they understood :) Ellie and Alicia were enthusiastic new friends!

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The evening started with a little jazz

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And ended with a lot of talk. Joel’s talk was a bit more preaching to the choir than I had hoped, but I still enjoyed every point he made (and of course agreed with him on the importance of changing this country’s food systems).

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The KERF Diet: A Thoughtfultarian

I’ve gotten some emails asking me how I eat. My response is usually just “Keep reading!” but tonight’s talk prompted me to write a bit on my diet.

When we buy meat for our household, we only buy organic and/or local meats and we try to stick to one “featured” meat per week to reduce our consumption. I don’t always note it in my posts, but if we’re ever eating meat you can assume it’s from a good source. We also buy organic dairy and local eggs. For a while I was a bit wishy washy on local food (meaning I didn’t buy it 100% of the time because of the cost), but these days I’m pretty steadfast in my beliefs about it. Because I can be.

I don’t care to put a label on it, but I am somewhat of a Pescatarian when I eat in public. I might have a few bites of an unknown meat at a nice event (such as last weekend’s wine dinner or at a family event) but for the most part, if I don’t know where the meat came from, I assume it came from a factory and order something else (remember recently at the Great Harvest convention when I asked for the vegetarian plate and they happened to have one?). I often choose vegetarian sandwiches over deli meat and rarely order chicken or steak if the server can’t confirm it’s from a local farm. I order a lot of salads, soups and a lot of seafood. Thankfully, in Charlottesville, we have many restaurants that serve local meats – just look at the list of restaurants that use Polyface! Reason #1,026 why I love living here!

I don’t ever care to put a label on my diet, though, because I don’t believe in labels! I am just me, a thoughtful eater.

And this is totally a conversation I have had before. Leaves me laughing out loud every time:

Local Chicken

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{ 149 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alyssa March 29, 2011 at 8:47 pm

I love it- a “thoughtfultarian” perfect!

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2 kaila@ healthy helper blog! March 29, 2011 at 8:48 pm

OMG what a fun night! All of my fave things combined right there! Beets, cauliflower, and octopus are three of my fave foods and coupled with good music and new friends=Perfection!

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3 Abby March 29, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I’ve been going round and round with “what I am” and you couldn’t have said it better–“thoughtfultarian”–how awesome! :)

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4 Emily @ Savory and Savage March 29, 2011 at 8:57 pm

I have definitely made the move to buy more local ingredients. And when you buy at a farmer’s market it is great to talk to the people who actually grow/raise the food that they sell!

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5 Holly @ The Runny Egg March 29, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Ok that video is hilarious! “did he put his little wing over another chicken” — loved it.

Kath I think you have a great attitude about what you eat!

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6 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey March 29, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Loved tonight’s post! I love how you feel strongly about eating fresh local foods. One of the reasons why I am a vegetarian is because I can’t really afford to buy local organic meats, so I just don’t eat it!

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7 Christine (The Raw Project) March 29, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Very cool on the bakery, so exciting! True on taking pictures, but I’m noticing more and more doing it while eating out. Great pics and views on eating meat.

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8 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) March 29, 2011 at 9:01 pm

I like your approach and to be honest I think of you a lot when I think about eating meat vs. not eating meat (no pressure!). You are an example that it’s possible to fit meat into a healthy diet.

I smiled at your career choice comment :)

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9 KathEats March 29, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Hahaha – no pressure!

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10 Meg March 29, 2011 at 9:02 pm

You can always label it the KERF diet ;)

I thought FOR SURE those were sardines…HA I was wrong…but you are brave. Never had anchovies, only sardines because of you!

Enjoy your evening!

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11 KathEats March 29, 2011 at 9:03 pm
12 Lisa March 29, 2011 at 9:02 pm

The more I read your blog the more I love it – Portlandia and Michael Pollan references in the same post??? Awesome.

Joel Salatin looks totally different than how I pictured him to look when I read Omnivore’s Dilemma! Much less “mountain man” :)

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13 KathEats March 29, 2011 at 9:05 pm

I know – where was his cowboy hat!?

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14 Laughter-Loving Stacy March 29, 2011 at 9:03 pm

lol OOOOH Portlandia is a great show :D lovelovelove!

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15 Natalia - a side of simple March 29, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I really like how you sum it up with “thoughtfultarian!” I now think you should make a dedicated “thoughfultarian” GH signature sandwich :)

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16 KathEats March 29, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Good idea!!

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17 Heather @ Side of Sneakers March 29, 2011 at 9:06 pm

How cool you got to hear him speak!!! Always such cool things going on in Cville ;)

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18 Sam March 30, 2011 at 7:35 am

Cooler things going on in DC and in larger cities… like a free Turkish dance performance I went to this week and free Kazakh movies playing!

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19 Kristi @ KristiAteIt March 29, 2011 at 9:06 pm

I love how the random number you pick for the reasons you love Cville is 1,026…not quite random I guess! ;) I always thought it must feel weird to take pictures of food in public, but it’s nice that you are recognized!

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20 Courtney @ the granola chronicles March 29, 2011 at 9:08 pm

I have always been against labels. I eat vegetarian most of the time (had a vegan meal tonight), but I’m not against meat. In fact, I had a BLT just last weekend – a rare occurrence, but an occurrence nonetheless!

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21 Valerie @ Cupcakes & the City March 29, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Very interesting! Have you ever read the book “Just Food?” It makes an interesting and well-researched argument (amongst others) on why eating locally is not necessarily best for the environment. I’m still a bit torn on the issue, but it was definitely thought-provoking to hear the other side.
Do you and Matt plan on serving local meats at GH? Just curious!

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22 KathEats March 29, 2011 at 9:14 pm

I haven’t heard of that book?

I would never do an all-local diet, but I try to eat within the USA. Sometimes I’ll have a kiwi, and I obviously eat Bananas, but other than those, I avoid foods like grapes from South America when local apples are in season.

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23 Valerie @ Cupcakes & the City March 30, 2011 at 6:43 am

I would definitely check it out! The author is James McWilliams. It challenges a lot of conventional wisdom about “responsible” eating. I don’t agree with everything in the book, but I like to be as informed as possible!

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24 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) March 29, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Kath I love this post!

First, cauliflower and beets look awesome and I dont think I’ve ever seen a paper plate (at least not in a long time!) on your blog. I love that you took pics, any pics, of it. Bravo!

Not labeling your diet…amen to that! I recently posted about starting to consume trace/tiny amounts of dairy, i.e. in my coffee, in white chocolate, in desserts, you know, in all the important food groups :)

I hate labeling my diet as well. It’s too hard to explain, and for me, I know what I eat. I don’t need to explain it, but people always want the nitty, nitty gritty down to the enth degree for some reason.

I love that you are steadfast in your beliefs about locally sourced meat, eggs, dairy and that you buy the best you can buy when you do buy it but that you often choose vegetarian options.

Great post, Great talk, great event…thanks for sharing, Kath :)

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25 Vanessa March 29, 2011 at 9:17 pm

I love farmers markets for that reason to see where your food is coming from. Sounds like a fun evening!

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26 Danielle March 29, 2011 at 9:18 pm

I too shun labels. I dislike when people tell others that I am on a diet to explain why I am not eating something. I usually just tell people that I am trying to make the best choices I can that make my body feel good. I don’t offer too much info generally, but am in the foundational stages of a blog. So, it will soon be out there for everyone.

I have a lot of respect for your food choices. I am a consistent reader, and I am challenged daily by your food choices. However, your portion choices are what challenge me the most. That is what I am working on right now. You are a great example.

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27 larissa h March 29, 2011 at 9:19 pm

how do you know about seafood though? i am not really educated on this, but have heard thing can come from farms in china? seems hard to eat this local unless you live near the ocean- though you are not tooo far.. just curious!

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28 Aimee March 29, 2011 at 10:24 pm

I thought of this too while reading… why is non-local meat a no-no but fish from wherever okay? Or do you know each fish dish is sourced locally as well?

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29 Becky March 30, 2011 at 2:05 am

I agree. Jonathan Safran Foer’s book makes a very compelling argument that fish are actually the most problematic in terms of both farming and the environmental destruction associated with wild fish. I’d really recommend reading at least that section of his book,
Eating Animals. Of course, everyone needs to make decisions that are right for them, but it’s good to have all the info!

Love Joel Salatin!

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30 KathEats March 30, 2011 at 7:44 am

I use the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch (http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx?c=dd) as a guide because it includes best practices in terms of sustainability as well. I won’t buy foreign seafood with my own money at the grocery store, but I do probably eat it in restaurants more than I realize. The good news is that I love wild Alaskan salmon and wild east coast shrimp, both of which are on lots of menus. And most of the time restaurants do tell you where it came from.

I noticed the other week a restaurant boasting “wild Atlantic salmon” which is just code for farm raised!

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31 Ali March 30, 2011 at 11:51 am

I’m not sure that’s true about the wild Atlantic salmon. My understanding is that all farmed salmon is Atlantic, but not all Atlantic is farmed, if that makes sense.

It’s not possible to farm any of the different types of pacific salmon (ie, sockeye, coho, pink, chinook and chum). They just can’t live in an aquaculture environment. So, any Pacific salmon you come across (which of course includes Alaskan) is, by definition, wild. It is possible – and very common – to farm Atlantic salmon, and most Atlantic salmon is indeed farmed. HOWEVER: there *are* actually wild salmon that live in Atlantic regions. Due to overfishing and habitat destruction there aren’t many left, but it’s possible. The commercial fishery is closed, but if someone caught it using a private, recreational license, it’s possible (I’ve seen the real deal in very remote lodges in northern New Brunswick, where lodge owners will catch their own). In a grocery store, though, you’re probably right….that fake labeling drives me nuts.

Check out http://www.asf.ca/about_salmon.php and http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/fishwatch/species/atl_salmon.htm If you see that on a menu again, try to pull a Portlandia :) to see what the story is….

Obviously, given their fragile populations, it’s probably best not to eat them anyway!!

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32 KathEats March 30, 2011 at 11:52 am

Thanks for the info. I’m pretty sure by the taste it was farmed :( It was very bland

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33 Ali March 30, 2011 at 11:56 am

Bleh :(

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34 SeattleNative March 30, 2011 at 8:09 pm

This actually isn’t true. There are salmon farms for the Pacific salmon – mostly in British Columbia but also some in Washington State and other states. You are correct that you can’t have farms for sockeye, but Coho and Chinook are farmed.

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35 Bethany @ More Fruit Please March 29, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Thanks for sharing the Portlandia clip! My coworker just told me about that scene last week and I’ve been meaning to look it up.

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36 Kim @ Spoonful of Sass March 29, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Haha! Love the video.

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37 Ally (Girl V Food) March 29, 2011 at 9:32 pm

That is EXACTLY what I am. I try not to define myself, but if I were to put a label on what I am, a ‘thoughtfultarian’ is just right.

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38 Angie @ Musings of a Violet Monkey March 29, 2011 at 9:34 pm

What an interesting talk that must have been. I am familiar with Joel S. from Pollan’s books and also from Food, Inc.
However, I just finished reading ‘Eating Animals’, and JSF (the author) doesn’t have anything good to say about Polyface. In fact, he calls them out as being not much different than factory farms… particularly when it comes to slaughter. Have you read ‘Eating Animals’? I found it very informative, and this is coming from someone who thought she knew all there was to know about CAFOs and the like.
(In the interest of full disclosure, I am NOT a vegetarian or vegan. I only purchase local humanely raised/slaughtered local meat, and eat veggie out at restaurants like you. So I am NOT pushing that belief). Having read ‘Eating Animals’ made me what to find out more about not only the way the animals that I eat live, but also how they die.
Just curious about your knowledge/thoughts…

~

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39 Clare March 30, 2011 at 2:01 am

I want to read that book too. Has anyone read “Why We Love Dogs, Wear Cows and Eat Chickens”? I have been curious about that one too.

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40 KathEats March 30, 2011 at 7:45 am

I haven’t read that book yet. My non-fiction reading as been squashed since finishing my RD and I know I need to get back into it.

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41 Krissy Murphy @ Shiawase Life March 30, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I really enjoyed “eating animals” as well. Good read.

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42 Ashley March 29, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Thoughtfultarian is a great term! You really are a great role model. That is how I have been striving to eat. Sometimes it is hard for me because its expensive, especially living in NYC. But the Green Market here in Union Square is my favorite place to food shop. I also cook now for two. My other half is very much a carnivore. At first, I just wanted to make things he liked, but a couple months ago I had to level with him that all the meat it did not make me feel good. We compromised by eating more fish over other meat, and me learning to make more “hearty” vegetarian meals. So far so good. Great post!

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43 Ashley @ Feeding Ashley March 29, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Is that what Matt and you do at restaurants? hehe ‘you have such beautiful eyes, *kiss kiss kiss kiss*’
I love the term thoughtfultarian, it’s such a lovely word. That’s quite a plate of eats above! You are brave for eating anchovies.

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44 Heather (Heather's Dish) March 29, 2011 at 9:48 pm

i’ve been reading for over a year now and LOVE the way you guys are thoughtful about the foods you eat. it makes a huge difference in so many people’s lives, and as such makes a difference for our world!

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45 Hannah March 29, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Guess what guess what! A few months ago I saw joel salatin talk too… all the way down here in Canberra, Australia! WOOT! He’s fantastic, so funny!

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46 KathEats March 30, 2011 at 7:45 am

WE HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON!!! Haha :)

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47 Dimple Snatcher March 29, 2011 at 9:57 pm

lovelovelove how thoughtful you are! it seems to me that thoughtful eating is becoming and more relevant in american culture, especially in food writing. another thing about ordering the vegetarian/pescatarian dish when you go out: it’s probably bodily + financially healthier for you in the long run? because by eating locally perhaps you and your husband put the funds into buying less (but more thoughtful meat)? and because less meat eating is better for all our healths? thanks for sharing, k!

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48 lynn @ the actor's diet March 29, 2011 at 9:58 pm

thoughtfultarian – i love it! i do need to put a little more thought back into my food. lately with all the traveling i’ve been doing it’s been hard, esp. when i want to try the local city specialties from hole-in-the-wall places. thankfully it’s pretty easy to eat the way i’d ideally like in los angeles.

i’ve never had anchovies before, i bet i’d love them. here fishy, fishy.

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49 Sam March 30, 2011 at 7:34 am

Please, please don’t restrict yourself from eating local, hole-in-the wall places b/c of this local/organic fixation. Life is too short!

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50 KathEats March 30, 2011 at 7:50 am

Life is short is not really a great defense..

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51 Sam March 30, 2011 at 7:58 am

Yes it is. Let’s not argue over this!

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52 Chrissy March 30, 2011 at 8:06 am

Your life will be longer, if you eat thoughtfully like Kath!

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53 Sam March 30, 2011 at 8:19 am

Really? Do you have scientific proof of that?

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54 Allison K. March 30, 2011 at 9:56 am

Sam-don’t you find that local places, often have better tasting food than big box restaurants? Or was your comment directed more towards the “hole-in-the-wall” aspect of the previous comment?

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55 Allison K. March 30, 2011 at 9:59 am

nevermind- I mis-read your comment.

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56 Lea @ Healthy Coconut March 29, 2011 at 10:02 pm

That is a funny video, thanks for sharing. “It’s all around organic” :)

I love anchovies too, I just love seafood in general. it’s rare to find others who love anchovies. Especially on pizzas.

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57 Liz @ Tip Top Shape March 29, 2011 at 10:16 pm

ha, thoughtfultarian is the perfect term for how you eat!!

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58 Amanda March 29, 2011 at 10:20 pm

This looks like a wonderful evening! And you are super brave trying the anchovies! Go Kath! :)

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59 Christina March 29, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Don’t you just love Michael Pollan? Love the blog title. :)

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60 Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf March 29, 2011 at 10:47 pm

I like to consider myself something of a flexitarian. I’d love to be able to eat local more of the time, but this really isn’t the region for that. I’m able to get my red meat locally by ordering it once a month, and just this month I’ve been able to get local pastured eggs. Local chicken is extremely hard to come by, though. And our farmers market is only open for two months out of the year, and the closest farm with a CSA is over an hour away. Yikes!

But I haven’t given up hope on it. I’m currently in the process of building up my garden, and I’m positively giddy over the prospect of serving a late summer dinner party using vegetables and herbs from my garden paired with some local meats! :)

You’re definitely an inspiration to me! I don’t really think everyone has to be 100% “thoughtful” in all their food choices. I think what really matters is doing all the one can reasonably do. For me, that’s getting my meat and eggs locally (which really is NOT more expensive!), growing my garden, and bringing my meals back into the kitchen, giving respect to each ingredient I use. I recently started making my own bread, and I’ve got plans to render my own butter and buttermilk this weekend. :)

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61 KathEats March 30, 2011 at 7:47 am

Thoughtful just means you do the best you can :) If I lived in a tiny town somewhere where the only grocery store was Food Lion, I might have to just live with eating much much less meat.

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62 Morgan @ moments of mmm March 29, 2011 at 11:05 pm

I love the fact that you don’t label your diet. Allowing your own conscience to decide your food choices, not the label to which you are “assigned.” It makes total sense when you put it in those terms–“I am just me, a thoughtful eater.”

Beautiful post Kath!

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63 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) March 29, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Love that label! I’m a vegetarian, but I totally appreciate someone eating meat if they know it’s from a good source :)

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64 Megan March 29, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Thoughtful towards who,exactly? Local or not, those animals are dead.

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65 Sam March 30, 2011 at 7:33 am

Exactly!!!

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66 KathEats March 30, 2011 at 7:48 am

Thoughtful in my decision making. I believe in eating animals, so please respect my decision.

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67 Molly March 30, 2011 at 10:24 am

If I were to agree with this concept, I’d probably also have to boycott the Discovery Channel until the lions and tigers decided to go herbivore.

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68 KathEats March 30, 2011 at 11:30 am

HA! Agreed.

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69 JenATX March 30, 2011 at 3:04 pm

This is why I get annoyed with having to label my diet; there is always someone challenging what I do or eat when I’m not challenging what they do or eat. Discussions are good and help others learn, I just dont like feeling like I have to defend my choices..I’m sure everyone feels this way at some point or another

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70 renee April 2, 2011 at 7:43 pm

That’s like saying the way an animal lives in irrelevent if it is ultimately going to be killed. Quality of life is extremely important, isn’t it?

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71 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) March 30, 2011 at 12:38 am

Smoked paprika goat cheese sounds amazing!

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72 Khushboo March 30, 2011 at 1:56 am

Labels are so restrictive! I’m like you in that I tend to opt for fish over meat in restaurants but at the same time, I do eat chicken occasionally at home. It’s best to eat within your means, i.e. control the factors which you are able to! Unfortunately I can’t guarantee the chicken I eat (even the one I buy at home) is organic/from a local farm so just restrict my intake of it. It would be unrealistic for me to lay off it completely. Same with vegetarianism- I’m not going to go into it but Caitlin@HTP wrote a fantastic post which was also filled with super insightful comments.

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73 Stacey (The Home-Cooked Vegan) March 30, 2011 at 4:30 am

I think it’s awesome that you eat local, if I ate meat – then that is surely the way to go.

Did you try the octopus?? I tried it about five years ago, it definitely has a sort of styro-foam texture to it…

Glad you had fun at dinner!

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74 KathEats March 30, 2011 at 7:48 am

It was styro-foamy!

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75 Kery March 30, 2011 at 5:59 am

I think that Ashley Koff put it best…”qualitarian”

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76 Lauren March 30, 2011 at 6:00 am

I love that- a thoughtful eater!! That is exactly what everyone should consider themselves. :)

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77 Katie March 30, 2011 at 6:14 am

I like that you live a healthy lifestyle and you eat what works for you and what you want!

I love Jazz! Looks like a fun night and even some KERF fans, so cool !

I bet it is so exciting seeing the progress of GH! Soon it will be finished!!

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78 Simply Life March 30, 2011 at 6:17 am

oh that video is too funny and way too familiar :)

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79 Christie {Nourishing Eats} March 30, 2011 at 6:20 am

I also eat locally sourced meat and eggs and I only eat Alaskan Seafood (all of which is wild) and American raised shrimp. I am a member of a CSA to get the local meats and I buy my eggs at my naturopath’s office, of all places. I am curious about how you make your seafood choices in restaurants, though, as seafood from overseas is very, very common. In fact, I have seen packages marked at “wild” and then you flip the package over and see that it is actually from Thailand and is farm raised. So, just wondering your thoughts.

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80 Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope March 30, 2011 at 6:27 am

Great post Kath! As long as you’re in tune to what works for you and you stick up for that, you’ll always be respected for your choices. :)

Sounds like a fantastic night!

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81 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin March 30, 2011 at 6:50 am

I’m so jealous you got to see a talk by Joel Salatin! I loved reading about him in Omnivore’s Dilemma!

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82 Baking 'n' Books March 30, 2011 at 7:00 am

I think you can only do the best you can do most of the time. Within your means. For me, I can’t afford to buy 2 organic chicken breasts for $12 when I can get 6 for the same price from the regular grocery store. It’s just how it is for now.

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83 Sam March 30, 2011 at 7:32 am

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

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84 Molly March 30, 2011 at 7:03 am

I think Joel should have brought one of his pigs with. Probably my favorite part of Food Inc is when he says “hey pig.”

Portlandia: amazing.

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85 Caroline March 30, 2011 at 7:09 am

I would love to live in a city that is so open to local and organic foods. There are one or two in the college town I currently live in, but I’d really like more options. I would also love to be able to go to events like this! I am trying to switch over to organic dairy. I can’t afford to buy local/organic meats, so I simply choose not to eat meat these days. Financially it is a bit of a strain, but it is important enough to me to put my money towards these better food sources so I am willing to make some sacrifices in other areas of my life (like saying goodbye to my cell phone’s data plan).

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86 Monique March 30, 2011 at 7:28 am

I love the phrase ‘thoughtfultarian’ – omnivores to vegans can eat without much thought, and I think that this is a great label to works towards.
Being so involved in the blog world and interested in food, have you ever felt pressured or curious to try vegetarianism / veganism?

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87 KathEats March 30, 2011 at 7:49 am

I definitely think meat is a bit taboo in the blog world, but no, I’ve never considered giving it up. There have been times when I have eaten less of it (in Charlotte, tighter budget) but like I said, I despise labeling one’s diet

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88 Toni March 30, 2011 at 7:29 am

hahahahaha that video was the best laugh I’ve had all week! :D

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89 Sam March 30, 2011 at 7:31 am

So very glad I don’t have your restrictions. I would miss out on all the great, authentic ethnic eats NYC and other cities offer– reason 1.5 zillion for living here!

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90 KathEats March 30, 2011 at 7:49 am

I don’t have any restrictions – I make choices. In your great restaurants I’d probably choose the vegetarian dish, seafood or tofu. Still have 1.5 zillions why I love living in Charlottesville.

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91 Matt March 30, 2011 at 7:52 am

That’s the cutest passive-aggressive response I’ve seen on this blog!

Don’t try to bait an argument – part of the way we eat also includes not getting angry at people who don’t eat like us.

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92 Krissy Murphy @ Shiawase Life March 30, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Totally agree with your sentiment, Matt.

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93 Dimple Snatcher March 30, 2011 at 10:41 am

This Sam person clearly has too much time on his/her hands! I live in NY and I eat delicious vegetarian meals from hole in the wall/ethnic places all the time. As recently as last week in fact…NOM NOM NOM that curry tofu!

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94 Sam March 30, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I never said not to eat veggie meals Dimple. DUH. I’m talking about making a distinction b/w not eating someplace/thing just b/c it’s not organic/local.

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95 Sam March 30, 2011 at 7:56 am

Not trying to bait Matt— I just notice that when y’all go to larger cities, you don’t go to the hole in the walls, the cheap CHinatown restaurants, etc that serve great stuff even though they don’t ascribe to the local or organic label.

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96 Matt March 30, 2011 at 8:04 am

I’d say more often than not, we go to the restaurants that blog readers recommend. These days, people are recommending a lot of veggie-centric places (like Great Sage in MD). That’s great for the types of food we like.

I’ve had pretty bad luck randomly picking ethnic restaurants – usually it ends up as a dish that’s loaded with fat. Tasty in the moment but you feel gross afterwards. I don’t like eating like that.

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97 Sam March 30, 2011 at 8:06 am

Stinks! You’ve not had good recommendations then =(

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98 Greg March 30, 2011 at 8:02 am

Anyone who thinks “thoughtfultarianism” is anything other than an excuse for indulgence at the expense of other living creatures should view this film: http://www.earthlings.com/

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99 Dimple Snatcher March 30, 2011 at 10:49 am

And you can only say that because you’re privileged. I so tired of hearing people go on and on and about how humans beings should eat when they don’t even seem to realize how blessed it is that they can go buy quinoa at Whole Foods. It’s high time we realize that the CHOICES we have to pick and choose what we want to eat are a privilege. People in many, many parts of the world don’t have that! Would find it baffling as in, “I shouldn’t kill and eat my chicken?! Say what????!”
Please, please for the sake of us all leaves the ones of us who like our meat.

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100 Greg March 30, 2011 at 11:18 am

I understand your point of view, but the simple fact remains that we waste an enormous amount of grain (which could be fed to humans) in feeding animals for human consumption. If you are interested, you may want to read “Diet for a Small Planet” or other sources.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diet_for_a_Small_Planet

Basically, converting grains to animal protein and calories is inefficient, and those grain-calories could be better used feeding humans – thus reducing (eliminating?) 3rd-world food scarcity. Let’s face it, the real privilege here is being able to say that you like “your” meat – the rest of the world be damned.

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101 Dimple Snatcher March 30, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Oh, and I should add that I was a vegetarian for years and a vegan for some time, too. It’s only recently I’ve somewhat made peace with eating meat in recovering from disordered eating.

Yep, we all do the best we can. Thanks for sharing, Greg.

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102 Hannah March 30, 2011 at 12:57 pm

It’s the responsibility of those who are privileged to choose a diet that isn’t harmful to animals and the environment.

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103 Lucy @ The Sweet Touch March 30, 2011 at 8:07 am

Great post!

I struggle sometimes making better choices about where/what kind of food I buy. It is really difficult to get over the price difference but I try to remind myself that if enough people buy it, then it become the “norm” and hopefully prices will come down.

I also try to remember that I really enjoy walking less than a 1/4 mile to the cute little store around the corner and I would love to see it stay there – the good news is, it just expanded to a bigger space and it is always hoppin!

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104 Kristina March 30, 2011 at 8:09 am

Thanks for sharing your diet! I eat much the same way you do – especially in the way I eat meat. I try to buy all organic/local meats, which has actually had the unintended effect of pushing me more towards a vegetarian diet. Because the meat I now want to buy is quite pricey, and local/organic fruits, veggies and tofu are not as expensive, I’ve gotten much more creative over the last couple of years with vegetarian and vegan cooking and buy meat more as a special/rare occasion, which is probably more like how we were meant to eat anyways! I made my mom read The Omnivore’s Dilemma and now she’s coming around to that way of thinking, too :)

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105 Stacy @ Every Little Thing March 30, 2011 at 8:13 am

It’s a difficult choice sometimes, choosing local vs. organic. I truly believe that local is important and more often than not, local farms use organic practices without the label (because they can’t afford it!). We have similar diets, honestly, and I never knew what to “label” myself as either! Glad to know I’m not the only one. I have been eating less meat in my diet, not because of any moral reason, just because it’s expensive and harder to pinpoint where it came from. When I do eat meat, it’s Missouri grass-fed beef, pork from 5 miles away, etc. As for veggies, if they’re from the grocery store they are always organic. If they’re from the farmer’s market, they are whatever I can get that’s as local as possible!

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106 Susan March 30, 2011 at 10:34 am

Local is more important to me, too. I don’t eat much meat either and unlike Kath, I’m more likely to eat it out because it’s a treat. And because of where I live it’s usually local, if not organic.

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107 Quisha March 30, 2011 at 8:13 am

I think that’s the best type of diet to have. I eat meat, but not at every meal. My boyfriend is Polish so it’s like a sin not to have meat, but we’re working on that slowly. We try to incorporate fish as much as possible.

Dairy can be pricey, but I agree, organic dairy is something that you can’t quite put a price tag on when you know where it’s from. Also the quality is so much better!

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108 brandi March 30, 2011 at 8:16 am

I want to meet him so bad! I loved him in Food, Inc. and have found a lot of restaurants near my husband’s parents that Polyface sources, which is awesome.

I live in an area that, while we don’t have a ton of great grocery store options (i.e., Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s), has great farmer’s markets and is full of local farmers for both produce, dairy, and organically/sustainably/ethically raised meat. The organic section at my Kroger is really tiny and the only other options are Food Lion (which has NONE) and Walmart.

We eat a lot less meat than we used to because it is more expensive to buy quality meat and meat that is local and organic, but it’s worth every penny to us. The meat itself is so much better, and I’m not only supporting the farmer’s themselves (and their families and livelihoods) but I’m also putting my money back into my community, which is really important to us.

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109 Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf March 30, 2011 at 8:55 am

I agree! Our farmers market is SO TINY and only open a few months out of the year, and I’m about POSITIVE nothing is organic, but I figure eating local is more important than eating organic, especially since I would have just gone to Walmart instead and paid more for other conventionally raised peppers and tomatoes. We also have little to no organic produce at our grocery stores.

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110 brandi March 30, 2011 at 9:26 am

You might be surprised at what IS actually organic (i.e., grown without pesticides, etc) at your market. Most smaller farms can’t afford to get the USDA label “organic”, even if they are. It’s worth asking! Farmer’s love to tell you about their work and what they do.

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111 Susan March 30, 2011 at 10:23 am

The “organic” label is expensive for small farmers and I know a lot of the stuff at my farmers market is organic even if it’s not labeled. So, I don’t get too hung up on my food being organic. I concentrate on it being local. And ask questions at your farmers market. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean it’s local. I know at mine there are vendors that drive hours to get there. It’s not necessarily a problem, but if there’s someone local selling the same thing, I will buy from that person. When I buy from Whole or the local Whole equivalent, there are only certain things I buy organic and I try to stay as local as I can.

I feel very fortunate that I live in an area that has a great year-round farmers market and that I can afford to shop and eat the way I do.

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112 brandi March 30, 2011 at 11:19 am

Definitely – it’s always a good idea to talk to the farmers personally and find out where the stuff is coming from, what methods they use on their farms, etc. You just never know! Plus, just getting to know the farmers in your area makes you feel even more connected to your community and everything that’s going on around you.

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113 brandi March 30, 2011 at 8:18 am

And regardless of whatever anyone chooses to eat (or not eat), I just hope that people give others respect for their decisions, especially when they are thought out and informed. Not everyone will agree, but that’s the beauty of having the choice to make.

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114 MISSY March 30, 2011 at 11:14 am

Well put, Brandi. :)

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115 brandi March 30, 2011 at 11:18 am

Thanks Missy :)

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116 Lisa Fine March 30, 2011 at 8:18 am

Great post, Kath. Avoiding getting labeled can be really hard. After being a vegan and vegetarian for years (and now I’m someone who eats fish on a rare occasion, so I just eat how I want to eat – maybe a healthfultarian?), people are always asking, “Are you a vegetarian? Or a pescatarian?” It’s all quite silly really.

It’s also too bad that any time you really open up about your feelings about food or other things, that readers get very critical of you. We’re all people who make our own decisions and live our own lives, and it’s too bad that not everyone is respectful of this.

Happy Wednesday! :)

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117 Jessie March 30, 2011 at 8:20 am

Joel Salatin, so jealous!! Ever since I saw Food Inc. and read the Omnivore Dilemma, I’ve been a huge admirer myself. And that Portlandia video is hilarious…..have you seen the biker one?? You would LOVE that one too!!

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118 KathEats March 30, 2011 at 8:21 am

I think so? Maybe not! What’s the title?

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119 Jessie March 30, 2011 at 8:23 am
120 KathEats March 30, 2011 at 8:24 am

AHAHAHAH!!! Hilarious. Until the end!! OUCH!

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121 Johanna B March 30, 2011 at 8:21 am

A “thoughtfultarian”, hmm, I like that. I may borrow it.

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122 Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn March 30, 2011 at 8:29 am

I have SO much respect for Michael Pollan. I’m so glad you got to hear him speak! And those cauliflower/beet plates look di. vine.

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123 Karen March 30, 2011 at 8:30 am

LOVE that term “Thoughtfultarian” Kath!

Unlike other dietary choice classifications, titles, labels, it implies that the individual is making private decisions that are in her/his best interest. No pressure to publicize those decisions or our rationale or prescribe a label. We are making conscious decisions about what we consume. No further explantion necessary.

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124 Jennifer March 30, 2011 at 8:42 am

I’m so jealous that you got to hear Joel speak! I’m a big admirer of how he (and others like him) offer food.

I like your Thoughtfultarian-ness. That’s a good way to put it. It’s what I’m striving to do and I am still a work in progress.

Where I struggle is that I work for a major food company. I love my job and I’m paid well and have great benefits. It’s very interesting and I’ve learned a lot. The problem is, there are very few products that we make that I would actually eat. We make food for schools that I really don’t feel is what kids should be eating. So, do I leave a job I love for my beliefs, or do what I can on a personal basis by making choices of my own? I’m still figuring this out.

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125 Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf March 30, 2011 at 8:50 am

I’m sort of in the same boat. My husband works for a company that distributes treated and genetically engineered seed all over the world. It’s tough when it’s his only option for work here in this town. We figure it’s not for forever, so we’re just biting the bullet for now.

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126 Julie @SavvyEats March 30, 2011 at 9:43 am

I understand this struggle EXACTLY. I majored in food science & engineering, and interned for one of the “big names” two summers ago. But I just couldn’t see myself working for a company whose products I don’t stand behind/wouldn’t eat myself!

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127 colleen March 30, 2011 at 8:56 am

Great post! I too am trying to feed my family more thoughtful meals – whole foods less processed, and less waste. We just planted some seeds and marked out a garden. The kids are excited. It is slowly happening.

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128 Marci March 30, 2011 at 9:11 am

I really like hearing more about your thoughts. Great comments here too! You worded it really nicely. I tend to have the same habits, eating fish out, more focus on vegetables. I also think vegetables are harder for restaurants and people in general to make into a meal, it takes more creativity. Nice challenge to take on at home is how I see it.

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129 Diana @ frontyardfoodie March 30, 2011 at 9:15 am

Thoughtfultarian…..great term.

I love that Portlandia show. Sometimes it gets a little weird but I get a kick out of a lot of the sketches, like this one. haha

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130 Melissa March 30, 2011 at 9:21 am

Sheesh. This Sam person is bugging me. Anyway, you’re not recommending that anyone eat just like you, you’re just putting the info out there. Fortunately, as adults with free will, we get to choose what we put into our bodies. ‘Nuff said.

Anyway, I just wanted to comment on how great the bakery is coming along! Do you have an opening date yet? I live in Richmond, but I will definitely travel to Cville for some GH bread!!! :D

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131 KathEats March 30, 2011 at 11:30 am

not quite yet! We’re HOPING for late may!

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132 Becca @ bellebottoms March 30, 2011 at 9:33 am

Hilarious clip!!

I’ve got similar beliefs as you, in that I stray away from meats and such when I’m out, and tend to go more vegetarian and fish. I call myself a “flexitarian” since I’m not opposed to eating meats, I just don’t want to eat something that isn’t healthy.

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133 Julie @SavvyEats March 30, 2011 at 9:44 am

Next time someone asks me, I’m telling them that I’m a thoughtfultarian!

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134 Brie March 30, 2011 at 9:44 am

I think about eating locally and organic, and we have recently switched to mostly organic produce (which is really hurting our food budget), but simply cannot afford it for dairy and meat. I I don’t think that somehow makes me UNthoughtful, though.

There are plenty of people in this country and economy that would love to eat local and organic, but just can’t, and I don’t know that that implication is fair. I put a lot of thought into what we eat, but come to a different decision based on what our needs are right now.

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135 Jane March 30, 2011 at 10:16 am

Wow, what an amazing evening. I love Joel Salatin! And I love that you posted that clip from Portlandia! That makes me love your blog even more! Yeah KERF!! :)

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136 Kaci March 30, 2011 at 11:14 am

I struggle so much with trying to explain to people how I eat because no one understands! Everyone assumes that I’m vegetarian because I eat a lot of veggies and rarely have meat at my lunch so I try to explain that I’m a flexitarian, which baffles them even more. I strive to eat healthfully while not compromising taste and making sure to get good protein from a variety of sources. My sis and I try to make sure we have a couple servings of seafood per week since that is recommend, and like you, we try to stick to one special meat per week.

Thanks for always being such an inspriation and being willing to put yourself out there for this blog! I love it!

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137 Heather March 30, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I feel the same way about my relationship with food and the environment.Thoughtfultarian summs it up!

I loved the skit….I fell off my chair laughing!

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138 Melissa @ Journey to Marvelous March 30, 2011 at 12:51 pm

I wouldn’t have recognized Joel without his cowboy hat and suspenders! I also have come to admire him after reading Michael Pollan’s books and watching films like “Food Inc.” and “Fresh”. Very cool that you got to hear him speak!

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139 Jill March 30, 2011 at 1:12 pm

It’s really unfortunate that lower class & even a lot of middle class people cannot afford to eat organic, locally grown food. Addressing the wealth gap in this country is paramount to making healthful food available to everyone. I have my doubts that this kind of food will ever be available to everyone, but I’ll try to keep hope alive.

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140 Krissy Murphy @ Shiawase Life March 30, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Thanks for this post! I wish I could have gone (definitely appreciated the email) but alas the schedule just didn’t allow this week. I always love living vicariously through you! Thanks for being you!!

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141 Tabs March 30, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I live in Portland and that show is this city to a T!! Hilarious!

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142 Deanna March 30, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Ditto to Tabs – I giggle every time something from the show actually happens in my life!!! There are tons of times I find myself buying things with birds on it or having the conversation about where the food comes from in restaurants… I love Portland!

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143 Allison @ Happy Tales March 30, 2011 at 4:16 pm

ahhhh I loooove that…”thoughtfulatarian”…What a great term! And you are brave with anchovies… those are a bit too fishy for me! I do love me some Octopus, though!

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144 Heather March 30, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Hi Kath :) I have been reading your blog for a while now thanks to seeing you on a local TV spot. I was a little surprised by some of the comments to this post. I think people should remember that what we eat is a personal choice, similar to what religion we choose (or don’t choose) to practice. I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for being true to yourself :) I have been introduced to a lot of products/foods/recipes that have become favorites … Even if the nearest GH is an hour away :( I really admire you for the way you handle yourself, the choices you make, and for your honesty ! I look forward to reading your blog every night :)

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145 KathEats March 30, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Thanks so much Heather :)

And which TV spot was this!? I’m not sure I’ve ever been on TV!

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146 Becca March 30, 2011 at 9:10 pm

That clip was hilarious. Thanks for sharing!

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147 Charise March 31, 2011 at 7:59 am

I love the “thoughtfultarian” made up label. I think intentionally thinking about and choosing what we put in our mouths is inportant even if we don’t have a “label”. We are big on local and seasonal first, and organic and sustainable when we can in my house, get the majority of our meat locally, eat a few vegetarian meals a week. Sometimes, convenience and cost do come into play, so it’s nice to not be so strict and to not annoy friends when we are at their places – I just eat what they serve, taking smaller portions of meat – or when it’s February and the local food availability isn’t enough to support a varied, healthy diet. I compare it to how we eat healthy probably 80% of the time and splurge on not-so-healthy foods and alcohol a couple meals a week. Everything in moderation!

I am also with you on the you do it because you can. I know we are fortunate to be able to afford the money and time to shop and eat this way, and look forward to a day when it is easier for all. I definitely don’t judge others for their choices as we all have different situations and priorities.

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148 Katie (quick cook rice) March 31, 2011 at 9:00 am

Don’t want to engage in any of the debate happening here. I’m a vegan who supports other people’s choices, but I have to say: I freakin’ love that Portlandia video. I literally watch it whenever I’m feeling down. It’s a good reminder not to take things so seriously!

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149 Jenifer March 31, 2011 at 12:52 pm

What a great post! I want to put something out there about the expense…. yes, eating local and organic is more expensive especially if your just hopping over to Whole Foods or TJ’s…. however, if you do a little bit of digging and research, you can find great great deals in the local and organic world of eating. For any of the Richmond area people… most of the people at the Ashland Farmer’s Market are organic… unfortunatly, it’s very expensive to be certified, same deal with Pole Green Produce. Pampatike Farms sells ground beef for about 5.50 a pound, which if you go to Martins, etc. is about what you are going to pay for 1 lb of 93/7, unless you get the roll of meat. I’ve also had Pampatike give me a break on pricing b/c I’m a repeat customer. Hit up these local places if you can… you not only are supporting a local business, but you’re supporting a local farm!

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