Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Turkey Makeover: Another Look at Food

I came across this press release for more humane and Earth-friendly consumption this Thanksgiving:
Tips from World Society for the Protection of Animals for A for a Healthy and Humane Thanksgiving Table

November 16, 2009 — On Thanksgiving Day when Americans give thanks for the abundance of food on their table, they should also appreciate the global impact of what they are eating. Making humane choices when shopping for a turkey and other holiday groceries is a simple yet powerful way to make a difference, reports the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).

According to Sharanya Krishna Prasad, WSPA U.S. programs officer, “Understanding food labels, and in turn, making humane choices for your turkey, eggs and milk can have a substantial impact on animal welfare, the environment and your health. We want people to know that choosing certain foods can help save our planet. What better day to start than on Thanksgiving?”

Humane Turkey Talk from WSPA:

* When shopping for a turkey, look for these labels: “Pasture Raised,” “USDA Organic,” “American Humane Certified,” “Animal Welfare Approved” or “Certified Humane.” These labels indicate that animals were generally raised under more humane standards and were given access to sunlight, fresh air, and freedom of movement. They were also spared non-therapeutic antibiotics and growth-promoting hormones.
* Avoid misleading labels like “Natural” or “Naturally Raised.” While “Naturally Raised” ensures animals were not given antibiotics or hormones, this claim does not require that the animals have freedom, fresh air or sunlight. The term “Natural” has no relevance to animal welfare and merely indicates that the product was minimally processed and contains no dyes or preservatives.
* Avoid serving multiple meat entrées during Thanksgiving. Instead add a meatless entrée choice such as ratatouille, lasagna, vegetable chili or meatless shepherd's pie.
* Do not add meat (like sausage) to your stuffing. Instead use veggies, fruits or nuts.
* Use vegetable broth in place of turkey or chicken broth for gravies and sauces.
* Substitute soy milk, vegetable broth or water, for cow's milk in squash and corn soups.
* Use soy milk instead of cow's milk in mashed potatoes and in corn and green bean casseroles.
* Substitute “Egg Replacer” for chicken eggs in cornbread and other breads, cakes and desserts.
* Substitute soy milk for cow's milk in pie crusts and fillings.
* Try frozen non-dairy dessert on top of pies or cakes.

Prasad explains, “If every person in the U.S. cut meat out of their diet for just one day it would save over 200,000 tons of food and nearly two million tons of CO2-equivalent emissions. That amount could feed an estimated two million people in need. By choosing humane labels, reducing meat in your diet and minimizing meat products in your side dishes, you can curb your carbon footprint and have something to truly be thankful for.”

For more information on food labels and humane eating visit EatHumane.org. WSPA has built the world’s largest alliance – over 1,000 animal welfare groups in 150 countries –dedicated to alleviating animal suffering. Through its pioneering programs and unique partnerships, WSPA addresses animal welfare concerns on a truly unprecedented global scale.
Enjoy your holiday. Enjoy your food.


Grace said...

Thanks for posting this, I'm glad to see this info reaches beyond the hippie-crunchyness that I'm used to. Another option for t-day is tofurkey, although it is made of soy and gluten, so it is a no-no for celiacs and people with soy allergies. If anyone tries using egg replacer for the first time, be warned that it takes time to get the technique right, but even if it isn't done perfectly, it still works about 95% of the time.

azusmom said...

Thanks for this! We've recently started cutting WAY down on our meat consumption, so this is very helpful!

Odette A. Scott said...

Great post! I've been vegan for three months now and feel great. Glad to see humane diets getting more attention.

jaed said...

Hmmm. I personally don't like the urgings to eat fake food and substitutes (non-dairy whipped "topping", egg replacer, etc. etc.). It's perfectly possible to eat vegetarian or vegan and still be eating, you know, food.

Grace said...

Egg replacer is not fake food. It's potato starch, tapioca starch, calcium lactate, calcium carbonate, citric acid, cellulose gum, and carbohydrate gum.

It is made so people who have egg allergies (like me) have the option to adapt recipes that call for eggs without using soy.

And before you judge diets that include these substitutes, consider the other option: simply avoiding any food that contains eggs, soy, milk, gluten, wheat, peanuts, whatever. That is a whole lot more disordered than working with what is available.

Candy said...

Wonderful tips. I've recently gone veggie and have never felt better or healthier!

晴天 said...


Beth said...

Thanks for your informative post and thanks for mentioning Animal Welfare Approved, the high-welfare label that the World Society for the Protection of Animals calls "the most stringent" of all of the food labels regarding humane treatment of farm animals.

The Animal Welfare Approved program audits and certifies family farms that utilize high-welfare methods of farming. Farmers benefit from having a third-party affirmation of their practices and consumers benefit by knowing that the label means what it says.

What Does the AWA Seal Mean for You?

Animals are raised outdoors on pasture or range on true family farms with the “most stringent” welfare standards according to the World Society for the Protection of Animals in both 2008 and 2009 reports. The standards have been developed in collaboration with scientists, veterinarians, researchers and farmers and incorporate best practice and recent research. Annual audits by experts in the field cover birth to slaughter.


Visit the website for a searchable database of where you can find AWA products across the US.