Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How to Eat GOOD (and still be ethical)

I think this piece featured in last week's New York magazine is worthy of a solid mention. Tagged as a Soup-to-Nuts Guide to Ethical Eating, the article titled "Eat Good," is the 'no-nonsense, cut through all the BS, just tell me what I should be eating and why' kind of writing that makes eating well (and ethically) actually easy. I admit, even as a someone who works with the ins and outs of food on a daily basis, it's sometimes hard to keep track of everything. What's the benefit of buying fair trade chocolate and is Chilean sea bass ok to order off the menu or am I doing irreversible damage to my little over-fished friends?
The article hammers out all the basic info you really need to know around the 17 most politically problematic foods. From the wild-shrimp you should be buying to save local habitats (the Lobster Place on Bleecker St. and in Chelsea Market stocks fresh Gulf shrimp fyi) to the chicken and eggs that are factory-farmed in tiny cages, a gigantic red flag for animal cruelty and overall food safety (go local with chickies and eggs when you can or look for organic free-range birds or the "humane" stamp on eggs at the grocery store). It's really a great article to read in full for quick tidbits on what to buy, what restaurants around the city are sustainable, seasonal and ethically-friendly.
Here's a quick run-down of the other 15 foods mentioned with tips on how to eat them more ethically: monkfish, red snapper (sadly overfished, but pink and gray varieties are A-Ok), Chilean sea bass (look for locally caught striped bass instead), beef, pork, milk, bananas, soy, tomatoes, lettuce, wine and champagne (horror!), chocolate (more horror!), sugar and coffee.

And a few PC restaurants in Manhattan and Brooklyn to add to the list: Blue Hill, Franny's, Savoy/Back Forty, Birdbath, the Green Table.

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