having a high state of culture and social development
And you’ll be surprised to learn that hunter-gatherers ate better, grew taller, lived longer, and were healthier than “
lacking in energy or will
We don’t want to be
passive consumers, sitting at the end of a food chain and eating what we are served.
having awareness of surroundings and sensations and thoughts
My meal would be an extreme experiment in being an active and
reach a decision
We don’t want to think about the living animals that become our food. But I had
resolved to think about it.
So on a September Sunday, after dining on a delicious barbecued tenderloin of pork, I became a
reluctant—and, I hoped, temporary—vegetarian.
cause to occur rapidly
When their egg production begins to drop, the hens will be “force-molted”—starved of food, water, and light for several days in order to
stimulate a final spurt of egg laying before their life’s work is done.
concern with the distinction between right and wrong
Big business is often blind, except to profit.
Morality just doesn’t enter into a spreadsheet.
try to manage without help
The animals grew tame and lost their ability to
fend for themselves in the wild.
any animal that lives by preying on other animals
Some people speak of animal liberation, but what would liberation mean to the millions of cows and chickens on our farms? It would mean a swift and unpleasant death, starvation, or attack by
the trait of extreme cruelty
brutality of the industrial food system in America is something that is pretty recent.
pause or hold back in uncertainty or unwillingness
When I asked Angelo why he hunted wild pig he didn’t
hesitate. He just kissed the tips of his fingers and said, “Because it is the most delicious meat.
the dead body of an animal
Less than an hour later I was hugging the pig’s
carcass as it hung from the limb of an oak.
at once (usually modifies an undesirable occurrence)
But after a brief run of luck I
promptly went blind again—and failed to find another mushroom all day.
of the greatest importance
Fungi are an
essential part of the life cycle on earth. They are the masters of decay and recycling.
suitable for use as food
Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreafus) can digest a pile of petrochemical sludge in a fortnight, transforming the toxic waste into
spread by scattering
After an endless trek through trash-
strewn wetlands, we found the salt ponds: rectangular fields of shallow water.
a sudden sharp feeling
Instead it was a blizzard of rushed work, missing ingredients, unscheduled spills and dropped pots, unscheduled trips to the store, unscheduled
pangs of doubt, and second-guessing.
collect or look around for, as food
I went around the table and spoke of each person’s contribution to my
foraging education and to this meal.
serving to bring to mind
The sauce for the leg was almost joltingly rich and earthy, powerfully
reminiscent of the forest.
sharply exact or accurate or delimited
And I knew the true cost of this food, the
precise amount of time and work it had taken to get it and prepare it.
provide with sustenance
It is not realistic to call something a food system when it replaces food with an industrial product that does not
nourish us—and in fact makes us sick.
motivation deriving from ethical or moral principles
It was possible, they discovered, to eat meat with a clear
the lack of knowledge or education
But whichever conclusion readers come to, they are more thoughtful about their choices—they act now out of knowledge rather than
ignorance, and that’s the most important thing.
decrease in size, extent, or range
I’ve never liked to think of myself as a mere “consumer”—the word sounds like someone who uses things up and
diminishes the world, and very often that’s exactly what a consumer does.
required by rule
Physical education is already a
mandatory part of your school day, after all, so why not eating education?