How Many Chickens Do You Eat A Year?

Over our morning Lattes, Super-sous and I read an article about how Americans meat consumption is on the decline, possibly in part to the Meatless Monday campaign that has been growing over the past 9 years.

In this article, which we found on, it stated that Americans are eating .5lbs of meat a day.

Well, Super-sous and I had some fun with this fact and a lot of questions came up as well.

First, let’s see how this .5lbs of meat a day translates to the plate… or farm. (Please forgive any miscalculations, we are mathematically challenged):

If a small chicken is 3lbs, which translates to about 2lbs of meat, (and you only eat chicken as your .5lbs of meat a day) you eat approximately 91 chickens a year.

If an average steer is 1200lbs, which translates to about 568lbs of meat, (and you only eat beef as your .5lbs of meat a day) you eat approximately 1/3 of a cow a year.

If an average pig is 300lbs, which translates to about 150lbs of meat, (and you only eat pork as your .5lbs of meat a day) you eat approximately 1 (well, a little over 1) pig a year.

But then we started thinking about all the vegetarians in the USA (about 3.2%) and, well, you really can’t count about 6.5% of the population that is under 5 years of age, and what about people who only eat fish or those that eat meat only once or twice a week (and not .5lbs of it when they do)? This all adds up to… somebody out there is eating A LOT of meat. Like, an entire cow + a few pigs + hundreds of chickens a year a lot.

For the health of this country, I’m glad to see that meat consumption is declining because I hope this means people are enjoying more seasonal produce and whole grains. I also hope that Meatless Monday’s doesn’t mean less meat and more convenience processed foods in our diets.

At the end of the day, fresh food is best for a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Because really, do we need to consume more than our own body weight in meat a year?


Cantaloupe Strawberry Salad

Another cooking segment from Growing a Greener World is posted and it’s the perfect salad to cool you down during this hot summer.

In the episode, I give you one delicious way to make this salad and in my book, Great Food Starts Fresh, I show you yet another way to bring this fruit salad from the garden to your plate to your lips.

I’ll bring the Lattes, you bring the fruit. Let’s eat!

What’s Wrong With This Picture? Answer…

Yesterday, over my morning Latte, I posted this photo of a scallop dish that Super-sous and I ordered in a restaurant this past weekend and asked, “what’s wrong with this picture?”.

Many of you guessed it – it’s those little green dots around the plate. (Pesto)  What’s with the placement of these dots. Does the chef want us to eat the lentils with the pesto? Should we eat the scallops with the pesto? All three together? Pesto separately? Should I dip the ends of tines of my fork into the pesto and take a little taste of it throughout the meal, in between bites, perhaps?

This is why I feel presentation is so important. Everything on a plate should have a purpose and it shouldn’t be a guessing game for the one who is ordering it on how it is to be eaten it or if it should be eaten at all. It’s like when you get (old school) a steak served with a stick of rosemary in it. You can’t eat the stick of rosemary, so what’s the point of it being there?

There’s nothing wrong with a little garnish on your plate, but there has to be beauty and function. In the case of the scallops, the pesto was neither and the plate would have been more aesthetically pleasing and delicious without the 10 little dots of green.

The Day

It’s my favorite day of the week.

Sundays mean Lattes (well, that’s everyday, I guess), the Hollywood Farmers Market (my favorite) and cooking all day with fresh produce. It’s also a day to sleep in and relax.

Today’s the day that I give the sweet corn ice cream I made this week to my farmer friend who asked me to make a batch using his delicious corn. It turned out pretty well, I think – sweet corn vanilla ice cream. Is it too early?

Today’s also exciting because last night I found out that I booked another cooking/speaking/book signing gig for the first weekend in October – details coming soon!

Reconnecting with our food

Ya! Last night, post afternoon Latte, I participated in a Huffington Post Live conversation on how we are disconnected from our food and how we can reconnect.

Joining the conversation was also Joel Salatin. If you’ve ever seen Food, Inc. you’ll recognize Joel as the farmer from Polyface farm in the Shenandoah valley. You may also recognize him from a recent episode of Growing a Greener World where we visited Polyface and spoke with Joel about biodiversity and organic farming. He’s a true expert in his field; if you have a handful of minutes, this conversation is a goodie.

Good Stress Tastes Great

Super-sous, Latte and I have been working out like maniacs the past few weeks. Scratch that. We’ve been working out like Olympic athletes (so we like to think.) That said, someone did tell us today that we were insane for doing our regular hour stair workout 6 days a week followed by an hour at the gym for weight lifting and an occasional evening hike. Okay, I’m getting tired just writing about it. In fact, I’m also getting hungry. Enter today’s lunch which took (bonus!) only 5 minutes to prepare:


Back on topic…. by embracing a lifestyle of exercise, we benefit from the fruits of our labor:

  • losing weight
  • gaining muscle
  • increasing our stamina
  • eating food as a means for energy rather than habitually – we focus on eating when we’re hungry instead of as a habit (e.g. the ole “it’s dinner time, what should we eat” routine even if you’re not hungry)
  • better sleep (aka passing out when the clock hits 11pm and not moving until the alarm at 7am)

I’m sure, at some point, we’ll perhaps tire of the stairs and try a new physical challenge, but for now, the great thing about walking stairs is that they are free and available to anyone.

In the end, it doesn’t really make a difference whether you walk, dance, do the stairs or swim. By exercising a little bit every day, by physically stressing your muscles, you actually get stronger-which is an amazing thing! Conversely, when we don’t move, we get weaker. The point is that the human body was made to move.

Even if you don’t have the time for an insane 2 hour workout, there are so many little things that we can all do that add up. Like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further from the grocery store doors than we usually do, walking with your family or dog a block or two after dinner.

It doesn’t take much, but it makes a big difference – physically and mentally.



Choices and Sacrifices

Super-sous and I have been in the routine of busting out hour-long stairs workouts 6 days a week. To beat the heat, we have been scheduling our workout in the mornings – at about 8am. The routine has been to wake up at 7, get ready and head to the coffee shop that is 2 blocks from the base of the 231 step staircase that we trod (endlessly) up and down.

The Lattes served are delicious. The kind where you don’t even need any sweetener. It’s been a wonderful morning routine. That little kick of caffeine right before the stairs. It’s been perfect. Until… we found out yesterday morning that they do not use organic milk in their espresso beverages.

What a buzz-kill. Literally.

There are choices (big and small) we, as consumers, make every day that have a ripple effect on other people, the environment, politics and so on. Everyone has to find their own path through the road of knowledge and awareness. It can be exciting, daunting, and exhausting. Where does the road begin and where does it ever end?

Super-sous and I have decided that we can’t support the non-organic dairy industry via our daily habit. Months of Lattes equals a fair chunk of change. Plus, we know too much about how non-organic milk affects the environment, animals and our health. This is a wonderful thing. We are informed and can support that which we feel is important. At the same time, it’s also sometimes a bummer. In this case, we really loved that local coffee shop routine. (We have asked them to switch to organic milk – so perhaps this caffeine induced relationship will soon be rekindled.)

Now, on an individual level avoiding non-organic milk may not seem that big of a deal. But this subject expands and broadens over time and knowledge. Like when you find out where your favorite restaurant sources their food from and it’s not what you were hoping to hear. Or who the parent company is behind your favorite organic cereal and you don’t like what they support or how they do business.

The questions and choices go on and on. And the more you know, the more choices you are able to make.

For now, Super-sous and I are having our morning Latte at home (before heading to the stairs) using locally-sourced beans and organic milk. (Bonus? We’re saving a chunk of change every day!)

I’ll drink to that… and a double shot Latte sounds like just the thing.