Cooking for many is a passion. For others, it's an obligation. For even others, it's an elusive skill. But one thing that we all have in common is we enjoy a good meal. It's even made more special when it's a home cooked dining experience. Somehow a well made home meal, despite the fact that it can take a lot of planning and preparation (compared with the relatively short time it takes to devour) makes everyone, especially the cook, feel good.
Maybe the least likable part of the making the special meal is shopping for ingredients, yet it's perhaps the most important. You can't make an omelette without eggs, and meat loaf is hard to cook without some ground beef.
There's a lot to consider along with just figuring out the menu. There's the freshness of components, the price of the items you'll need and the time the entire shopping process takes. If you're going to be preparing and cooking for hours, convenience always enters into into consideration as well. Many times we'll consider partially prepared elements so we only have to add them to the process and not actually make them from scratch-- things like a prepared pie crust, a prepared spaghetti sauce or a pre-cooked chicken to add to our "home made" chicken pie. It's okay. All cooks do that from time to time. Time is precious and we look for convenience.
What we don't spend enough time on though is the consideration into the brand or how a particular company chooses and prepares it's product before our purchase and use.
We grab a container of eggs without giving the method of collection much thought. We have the FDA to make sure the product is clean and safe. We buy chicken, beef and now that we're approaching Thanksgiving, turkeys figuring they're humanely raised and slaughtered, done under clean and the safest methods possible. All that most of us think about is the bottom line -- the price.
Actually, there's more to think about if we're going to be responsible shoppers. And that's how the products are raised, harvested and delivered. It's important though to consider how humanely this process was handled.
Despite the price, wouldn't you boycott an item if you knew it as using sweatshop labor, child abuse or slaves to manufacture the item-- some jeans, shirts, shoes or other fashion item? We speak out for these victims by refusing to buy the products that are made with substandard labor.
Well, what about with food? Isn't it time we avoid blatantly abusive companies that don't stand up to industry standards? Those that routinely torture the animals used for products?
Tyson, a company you've undoubtedly heard of and seen in your local grocery chain is one such violator of animal cruelty laws. And the attached video is all you need to see, if you can stomach it. None of this kind of behavior is proper, necessary or legal. But yet we support Tyson with our purchases of their products.
If this disgusts you as much as it does me, seek out an alternate. Don't tell Tyson this is okay by just turning your back on the animals that are sacrificed to bring us our daily meals. I'm not saying you should become a vegan. I won't. I love my meat products, but I will avoid any company that won't humanely treat their livestock while raising them, or harvest them as painlessly as possible when their time comes.
Caution -- extremely disturbing footage: