Monday, December 6, 2010

A Welcome To All Eaters

Let me explain a bit about the way I look at cooking and eating.  To me, there is a continuous spectrum of eaters, from the I-eat-everything-and-anything omnivore to the vegan with multiple food allergies or sensitivities.   We all have reasons for eating the way we do (culture, tradition, taste, health issues, the list is a long one).  I would like to formally invite and welcome ALL eaters and not just vegans to visit, post on, and otherwise enjoy this blog without fear of negativity from others.  I will do my best to moderate the comments, and to try to provide the most accurate information I can when I give information.  Please respect this when posting to this blog, and we will all learn a lot about each other and about great food. 

In case you are wondering, I fall close, but not completely, into the plant based part of the food spectrum, eating about 90 to 95% plant based foods, and maybe 5-10% or less of animal products (mostly as ingredients cooked or baked into something vegetarian, like a frozen veggie product that may have egg powder in it, and we do order a regular cheese pizza sometimes).  I don’t buy any animal products (meats, fish, dairy, eggs, milk, yogurt etc.) and I don’t cook with them. There are also social situations that call for flexibility in my diet and I am willing to be flexible when needed.  There are social situations where I will eat completely vegetarian to work with my host or hostess when they are kindly and generously accommodating my dietary choices.  For Thanksgiving, my mother made an amazing vegetarian feast for my family, which did include animal products (but no meat of any kind) and we were extremely grateful and enjoyed it very much.  I will also eat a modified list of specific, most environmentally viable seafood (mostly mollusks, not actual fish) if that is what can be offered to me when at a guest’s home in lieu of other meats.  I let my son eat pizza.  But his packed lunch from me is vegan.  I educate others gently and at a pace that is comfortable for them if they are interested in learning more about plant based foods and recipes.  And I love this.

Let’s be honest.  Folks eat meat and animal products because they taste good, they know how to cook them well, and they are comfortable with them.  Animal products are a huge part of our culinary, cultural and social traditions.  I respect that.  I was an omnivore for decades, and I totally and completely get it.  What I have learned through much research, is that the direction that factory farming has taken has undermined not only the quality of modern animal products and meats (I have met many people, my father included, who agree that chicken, turkey, beef, etc. don’t taste nearly as good as they used to years ago) but our personal and public health as well.  Since last year when I started eating plants exclusively, I lost 17 pounds and my husband lost 30.  No exercise people!  My digestion has improved and I now realize I have pretty noticeable sensitivities to dairy and processed white flours, which I never fully realized before (because I was eating them all the time).  I have perfect blood pressure, my cholesterol is good, and I have no guilt related to supporting farming practices that I don’t agree with (both for the animals at the farm and the workers trying to make a living by working at those farms).  I had to relearn (some of) how to cook and completely restocked my pantry, but this was a process I enjoyed and continue to enjoy.  So, a plant based diet is working for me right now.

Also, I do support small family farms doing things the right way.  I know of a few.  If you folks know some as well, please post them so that they get the support they need to continue doing things right. 

Welcome to my blog, please feel free to comment, ask questions, and share anything that is on your mind about food, cooking, or anything else.

I look forward to it.



  1. Hey Dawn- I am looking to join a CSA this year. Do you know of any that have pick up points on this side of the river somewhere between Burlington City and Haddon Heights? I think Honeybrook farms is a good option - any suggestions are welcome.
    Love the above post - we have made some huge changes in our diets the past few months for health reasons and its great to know someone who is a bit ahead of me on the journey towards good health!

  2. Thanks, Regina! Let me look into it for you.
    I think there is also a CSA in Moorestown. Not many CSA pick ups in South Jersey, there are more in Philly (we did Landisdale farms this year and picked up in West Philly), but I will check for you!

  3. Here is the Certified Organic farm in Moorestown, pick up is on Tuesday from 2-6pm:
    Let me know what you decide!

  4. Thanks so much Dawn - I like the price on that one in Moorestown. I agree that the matzo ball soup mix is the a must have for your pantry. Owen has loved it since the time he was Emory's age! Have you ever seen Martha Rose Shulman's recipes? She is featured in the NY Times and has a new cookbook coming out that I have set my sights on - "The Very Best Recipes for Health". It's vegetarian and sometimes vegan. I can't wait to get my hands on it - check her out if you don't already know about her.

  5. Glad I could help. Thanks very much for the cookbook recc, I have a huge list of vegan cookbooks on my wishlist, what's one more? :-)
    Looking forward to future feedback and questions! Enjoy!