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“Mommy, where does meat come from?”

Welcome to Talk Tuesday! Today, we will be discussing what to do if your kid asks, “Mommy, where does meat come from?”. We will also discuss the health benefits of meat and veggies. Join the discussion! Here we go…

Warnings about warnings…

(Warning: Graphic pictures of an actual cow being butchered-you know, where meat come from.)

(P.s. Its ok to know where your meat is coming from.)

(P.P.S. This is reality.)

(P.P.P.S reality is good for the soul.)

(P.P.P.P.S Im not being sarcastic…at all 🙂

 

bbq

Yummy Meat!!

Holy Cow!

We recently had our cow butchered. Yes, they still do that sort of thing in Southern California! (We’re not all yuppies down here :)).

Anywho…I used our cow being butchered as a “science lesson” for the kids and took them “out back” (we have 6 1/2 acres of land) to see the cow that would be our meat for the year. It was a great time to show the kids the reality of ranch living and teach them where their meat comes from.

Some would say that it is “too much” for children. I would have to disagree. Even though it can be gruesome in some ways, it is in-fact reality. I believe it is important to show the reality of life to kids, in some ways. One of them being where meat comes from. There are a lot of lessons to be learned in the process of butchering meat.

This is our meat cow.

beef butchering
The kids named our cow “T-bone”
boys and the cow
The kids taking a “selfie” with T-Bone
butcher day
Uncle John teaching the kids about how to “get the meat out”

My kids were definitely curious, so I was happy to oblige their request to “go see the cow being killed out back”. In this instance, it was the perfect educational tool to explain to them the reality of life. The reality that our meat does not just “appear” on the grocery aisle shelf.

Homeschool Lessons

Thats one thing that I do love about homeschooling. You can use almost anything to teach your kids a lesson. This one was great because it was “hands on”, out in the open and real.  For my almost 8 year-old, it was awesome, because he could write a little report on what he learned. He was able to describe to me the process in such a detailed way. Im pretty sure that I wouldn’t have been able to teach him half of the stuff he learned that day.

butcher day
Jesse, my almost 8 year-old, watching and learning
Jesse
Jesse and mama

Its amazing to me how much kids retain. They really do learn so much more than what we give them credit for (or at least I do sometimes). My oldest, Jesse, is “wise beyond his years”. He is very smart and never ceases to amaze me with his “smarts”.

He is however, my most sensitive, and had the hardest time with watching the cow get butchered. I was able to explain to him that the reality of where meat comes from is kind of ugly, but that it is a necessity if he wanted to have those yummy meals that we eat. He understood and was able to write a report about it later. Sometimes the most important lessons are the hardest to explain.

Vegetarians vs. Meat eaters

My dad always told me this joke:

“Question: What do you call a vegetarian? Answer: A bad hunter.”

Hey, I get the reasons why people would want to be a vegetarian. It is a great way to cleanse your guts and become more healthy. However, I believe in meat.

I believe that meat (in its organic and natural form) has the ability to offer so many nutrients that you just cannot get with only vegetables. I know, I know…I probably got “poo poo’d” by some vegetarians….but that’s ok! I have a deep respect for vegetarians. I really do. But, at the end of the day, we all can have our own opinions, right?

Benefits of eating only vegetables:

A number of studies dating back to the 1950s have been done to examine diet-disease associations and many of these looked specifically at the effects of a vegetarian diet on health.  These studies focused primarily on prevalent conditions that have high mortality and morbidity, including different cancers, heart disease, and diabetes [6]. In addition, studies have also examined if vegetarians have lower rates of mortality compared to non-vegetarian counterparts [7]. Taken together these studies suggest that vegetarian diets (that are appropriately planned and nutritionally adequate) may lower the risk of certain chronic diseases, notably cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension. –https://www.bu.edu/themovement/past-issues/spring2011/being-a-vegetarian/

Benefits of eating meat:

While the current trend is all about going vegan, the idea of eating meat (thanks to the horror stories about red meat) is rapidly diminishing. Most people consider vegetables and fruits to suffice when it comes their daily nutritional needs while also thinking that plant protein is better (and safer) than animal protein.

As this is not true, here is a list of the health benefits of eating meat that all contribute to carrying out vital metabolic functions but also giving one a lot of energy as well:

Benefit 1Since meat contains a large amount of protein, this could be beneficial to the body as the need for protein is an important one for the body. Since protein is said to improve the overall health and well-being of one’s body, there are other benefits such as the repair and building of body tissues as well as the production of antibodies that will protect the body from infections, thus strengthening the immune system as well. Most importantly, since meat contains all the essential amino acids, it definitely ranks as one of the best sources of protein.

Benefit 2Of the many nutrients that meat contains, it is rich in iron, zinc and selenium. While iron helps in forming hemoglobin that transports oxygen to different parts of your body, zinc helps in tissue formation and metabolism as well as selenium breaks down the fat and chemicals in the body.

Benefit 3Vitamins are also a big part of the one’s diet, and Vitamin A, B and D are commonly found in meat as well. Not only do these vitamins promote good vision, stronger teeth and bones but it also support the central nervous system thus promoting mental health as well.  Another big benefit of eating meat is the maintenance of your skin’s health. –http://www.medicaldaily.com/3-benefits-eating-meat-234798

meat and veggies

Pork loin roast with bacon on top, served with veggies! Yum!

You gotta do you

Again, you have to make up your mind for yourself when it comes to deciding if you want to become a vegetarian or sticking with a balanced diet of meats and veggies. I chose the later, only because I believe that meat has so many health benefits., and because I just love the taste of meat!

However, in our current culture there are so many harmful things added to our meat AND to our vegetables.

It would be so awesome if we all lived on a working farm, and were able to eat only home-grown vegetables and meat, right? (I wish). But that is just not possible for all of us. We are made to rely on our grocery stores and our local farmers markets to get “nutritional” foods.

Unfortunately, a lot of our meats are full of hormones, fillers and sometimes chemicals. It is so disappointing, but it is reality. We cannot all have the “homegrown” and healthy meats and vegetables, but we can be aware of where our meat and vegetables are coming from and whats “inside” of what we are eating, and choose to make the healthiest choices that we can.

I try to buy as many “organic” foods that I can afford, but unfortunately, our budget does not always allow for that. It is very unfortunate also that organic foods are so expensive, but that’s just the “name of the game”. There is big money in the production of organic foods, and I think some farmers have to charge more for it to be able to produce a lot of it.

giant ice cream kids

All that being said, “you gotta do you”. What works for some families, does not work for others. Some budgets are able to afford all organic, and some cannot.

In the end, you gotta do you!

Hope this post was encouraging for some of you who might be on the fence about vegetarianism and or meat eating.

Have a blessed day!

-Z

 

 

Bacon, Waffle and Chocolate Covered Banana Boys

 

 

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