The Morality of Last Night’s Beef Stew

Yesterday I made some beef stew in the crockpot. It turned out pretty well, especially for a coolish night in September in MN. I got to thinking about the ingredients:

—Beef from a cow who lived outside and ate grass, which we bought from a neighbor’s butcher;
—Tomatoes and parsley from my garden;
—Onion from my mom’s garden;
—Corn from another neighbor’s garden;
—Potatoes that were grown in a town about 20 miles from here;
—Carrots from the grocery store so who knows where they came from (how dumb. I could grow carrots or get some at the farmer’s market);
—Beefy mushroom soup from Campbells, canned in Illinois (700 miles away) so again, who knows where the ingredients are really from;
and
—Sea salt (we live 1,500 miles from the nearest saltwater).

In other words, as much as I try to incorporate local ingredients into my meals (and, if there is meat, it must be from an animal that grazed outside, that was not imprisoned in a factory farm), I still seem to end up with things like sea salt and beefy mushroom soup that are essentially unsourceable, untraceable. Not to mention, there was some beef broth in that Campbell’s soup that probably came from a cow that never saw the light of day, got hormone injections, stood in its own poop, and was inhumanely transported and slaughtered. And the mushrooms, I didn’t even want those.

Moral of the Story:  Making good-tasting food is easy. Finding the ingredients you want that meet all your moral standards is something else entirely.

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