The first piece of good news is the grocery store opening in the Tower Grove area on June 1 - Local Harvest Grocery. It's run by the same guy that runs the Tower Grove farmers' market. They're going to stock sustainably produced meat, veggies, grains, and goods from the St. Louis area, as well as some sustainably produced goods from outside the area. Very cool. I think this will be my new grocery store. Seriously, it's exactly what I've been waiting for - I love farmers' markets, but I'm limited to the weekends. This will be perfect.
Second, Wolfgang Puck is going to make a major change regarding the food he produces. 'In all of my restaurants, catering businesses, licensed foods and takeout establishments, I'm committed to using organic ingredients and humanely raised meats and fish.' This is exciting, because his packaged goods are available in most grocery stores, and this will mean I can eat his frozen pizzas and dinners with meat on them. It's just one more option for me. Normally I'm limited to eating frozen dinners (Lean Cuisine) without any meat at all. This will be nice. I should probably give up frozen dinners all together, and perhaps some day I will, but they're just so darn easy for lunch. And Lean Cuisine uses all natural ingredients, which is good.
I suppose I should explain my diet. I only eat meat if I know where it came from and how it was raised. This means there are only a handful of restaurants where I can order meat dishes, and am also extremely limited at the grocery stores. Luckily we're able to get our beef from a friend of Q's family (he raises a few cows a year), but when it comes to other meats, I'm basically limited to what I can get at the farmers' market from local farmers. I'm okay without eating meat all the time, I actually like eating like a vegetarian. But I love a good burger.
This began last spring when I saw a PETA video we'd gotten at an Alkaline Trio show. I don't totally agree with PETA's philosophy, but just seeing what happens to animals on factory farms was horrifying. Not only do I believe we have no right to treat another living thing like that, but I don't want the meat from a tortured, hormone-injected, antibiotic-fed, miserable animal as part of my diet. There's no way it's good for you. No matter how good a McDonald's burger may taste, it's not worth it. So my stance is health-driven just as much as animal rights-driven.
I plan to slowly adopt this philosophy in regards to cheese, but that's hard. Cheese is too good to give up, and it's hard to find cheese that comes from sustainably raised animals. Oberweis is an option, but there aren't any close by. And what we think of as 'vegan' cheese actually has a milk protein in it. Maybe it'll be easier once the new grocery opens up. And I switched to soy milk last year, and it's relatively easy to find eggs that are sustainably produced. I also try to limit the amount of foods I eat with artificial ingredients (flavorings, etc.), and try to stick to organic veggies and fruits, though 'organic' doesn't actually mean much in this country. At least it's a start.
So anyway, knowing there's going to be a grocery store that has my ethics at heart is great news for me. Help spread the word. And definitely go there when it opens up.