Maybe because I’ve turned the corner on 50, maybe because I’m finally aware of what I eat and how I grill, maybe its my daughter who just started med school, and maybe I’m finally listening to my wife! And of course since bringing GrillGrates to the market, I am more in touch with my grilling habits. It happened slowly and subconciously until yesterday.
What caused this revelation? I came across Mark Bittman’s (esteemed NY Times food editor, author and authority) video on What’s wrong with what we eat? at TED.com. I was not prepared to watch a 20 minute speech but I did. By the end Mark’s presentation; I understand the serious nature of cow farts and how the nature of our eating habits has come full circle in my lifetime. I had no idea how much meat consumption has skyrocketed over the past 50 years and it appears to be a global trend. Scary thought if the Chinese follow our exponential consumption here in the US. So what? The planet can not support this level of industrial beef production for several reasons and it is simple- we should not eat as much meat as we do. Period. Bittman asserts that food marketing for meats and sweets, and the industrialization of food- particularly beef has driven over consumption and its not just bad for us, its bad for the planet- hence whats wrong with what we eat.
I had a GrillGrate customer email me recently that our website did not have one steak recipe and that our meat section was rather weak compared to the others I still did not put it together and hurriedly put up a Seared not Charred Ribeye Steak Recipe and a couple of YouTube videos.
Then yesterday, as I watched Bittman’s speech and I realized I had followed a similar path to Mark (I never met a vegetable I liked until middle age) and only now are my eating habits changing. In the south its called a meat and three, but I was lucky to be meat plus one. Do fries count? Nobody loves a grilled steak or burger more than I do, and for 30 years red meat and chicken were about all I grilled. I was darn good at the chicken too because I mastered the simple fact of turning my grill down from high to as low as the grill would go. Occasionally my wife would give me a foil pouch with some mystery vegetable or onions mostly to not have to cook them indoors.
Now our grill almost always has the veggies and potatoes along side the main meal, which is likely to be salmon or skinless chicken as it is a burger or ribeye. I can’t believe how good a turkey burger is, and we’re grilling sweat potatoes, onions, carrots, asparagus, fingerlings and more. I’d love to say it was GrillGrates that caused this change, but they did not. They facilitated my transformation but Mark Bittman nailed it- we and our mothers have been bombarded with marketing to eat meat 2-3x a day instead of 2-3x a week! I remember TV dinners with Salsbury steak, hamburger helper and McDonalds night as a kid. It took me 50 years to figure this out? Thanks Mark! And a special thanks to my wife Susan who preserved the family dinner in our house and who cooked good food, not processed food. All I did was grill the meat, now I finally get it and am grilling the whole meal and it involves a lot less meat.
I’ll never give up grilled meat, but I am looking forward to finally broadening my horizons and not my waistline!