Meat Deprivation

4 Apr

We eat vegetarian meals about 50% of the time at the moment, and my children are clearly deprived of meat.

Tonight I served rump steak, baked jacket potatoes and a pumpkin and carrot soup. I gave J her piece of steak, and it was only when she asked for more that we realised that (in almost no time) it was gone. Neither of us even noticed her eating it, and bizzarely, she didn’t even have a knife.

So I gave her some of mine (a bit rarer than her piece), and thought I’d observe a bit more carefully. She gripped it in her hand, tearing pieces off like a lion, blood dripping down her chin and arm. Seriously gross.

When she saw that I was watching, she briefly interrupted her carnivore display to ask, “Mum, does meat have juice?”.

“Yes J, it’s called blood. Steak comes from cows, and cows have blood”.

She shrugged.

And continued ripping pieces off with her teeth.

At least the poor animal didn’t die in vain…

I feel like I need to take a lesson away from this, but I’m just not sure exactly what that is.

A. Feed the girl more meat

B. Teach her some table manners

C. Keep her away from pets

D. Never serve her fava beans with a nice chianti

Our low animal protein diet has had some benefits though. I dragged P to the doctor yesterday for a general checkup, and his weight, blood pressure and cholesterol are perfect. I’m sure that would not have been the case in December.

How often do you eat meat? Every meal like we used to? Or are you reducing your intake too?

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22 Responses to “Meat Deprivation”

  1. Nina April 4, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    You could be describing my daughter, 15 years ago! She loved her meat ‘barely wounded’ and would have animal ‘juice’ dripping down her chin at most meals. She’s now vegan. Go figure.

    I enjoy your blog and thanks for sharing your life and gardening experiences.

  2. Liz April 4, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    Kids do seem to need meat more than adults – my kids definitely go for the meat first. They will eat vegetarian meals, we have them a few times a week but if there’s meat available its usually devoured first. I think they will probably grow out of it though. I definitely had had enough by the time I was about 15 and became veggie for a while.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney April 4, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

      I have never even considered vegetarianism – bacon is just too good to give up šŸ™‚ I don’t see the necessity for complete abstinence either – even if I felt compelled on environmental grounds (which is half my reason for cutting back), then I’d still be OK with kangaroo.

      Why did you give up meat? Was it an animal welfare stance?

  3. Sustainably Modern April 4, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

    We eat it in most meals. Typically a day or two a week will be meatless. Meat has a very important place in diet; especially if it is lean, so we don’t shy away from it. We just select lean cuts; eat mostly white meat; very little red meat; and no pork.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney April 4, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

      Sounds like a good approach. I suspect for us it will change over time. Sometimes more, others less. I imagine in winter when I have less coming from the garden then the meat consumption will increase.

  4. Robyn April 4, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Hmmm, I’m trying to do at least one vegetarian meal each week, but to be honest, I’ve never really lived with people who eat vegetarian, so am a bit clueless about what to cook when you take out ‘meat’ from a meal. I’m also trying to make sure we eat fish once a week and chicken too so that red meat is cut back to about 4 meals. That’s only evening meals though as I don’t cook lunches. I’m trying to look into doing more egg meals as both kids love egg, but I’m not sure my husband will be happy if I cut back on the meat too much! Everybody here is happy with fish though and fish is really good for you, so when I actually learn how to cook a few different fish dishes I might try doing fish at least twice per week…

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney April 4, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

      Boys and their red meat! I’ll be working on more egg meals this year too (surprise, surprise), so I’ll be sure to pass on any discoveries.

  5. Daphne April 4, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    I don’t eat a lot of meat for a typical American but I usually have it every day. Yesterday I had it at lunch. I had half of a leftover hamburger. (We went out the night before and I usually only eat half of whatever dish I get and bring home the rest. In the US portions are just HUGE.) For dinner I had rice, beans, spinach and leeks with one egg on top. Yummy. But no meat. Today I probably won’t even eat meat. Pizza is on the menu for dinner. I rarely eat meat at lunch (usually just with leftovers or extremely small portions in soup). A serving of meat for me is 3-4 oz (about 100g). I usually eat it once a day and it is usually chicken. Beef is usually once a week. Fish is usually once a week too. Pork is rarer now.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney April 4, 2012 at 11:29 pm #

      It must be harder for you Daphne with your other dietary restrictions. Meat must be the ‘easy’ part of the meal to plan.

  6. HelenB April 5, 2012 at 2:59 am #

    Just one (pedantic, picky) thing: the juice in meat really isn’t blood. It’s simply the fluid part of the animal’s cells, and is present when the meat isn’t cooked “well done”.

  7. Barbara April 5, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    I don’t eat meat at all although I do
    eat fish. My husband would eat it three
    times a day if he could (guess which of
    us was born and raised in Australia!).
    Interestingly my cholesteral is still
    high due to a genetic factor!

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney April 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

      Well that is unfair! I guess you are doing all you can about it though. Yes, us Aussies do like our meat šŸ™‚

  8. sarahskitchenadventures April 5, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    If anything, I should be eating MORE red meat to fix my iron deficiency. I definitely prefer steak over iron tablets. Interestingly, I grew up eating steak well done and was a bit horrified seeing my husband tuck into medium rare steak. Eventually, I got tired of waiting for mine to cook. Now I can eat a rare steak quite happily.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney April 10, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

      I’m glad he’s turned you around. Well done steak is like eating leather. Medium rare all the way for me.

  9. sydfoodie April 6, 2012 at 12:14 am #

    A. Feed the girl more meat!

    Mr L’s daughter turned vego at 12 for a year in part, we think, to keep up with her sister. She’s had a stream of health problems ever since, including ulcers, allergy to sugar (?!) and immune system problems. I’m sure your adherence to nutrition is better than her mum’s, but I think while she’s still growing, J should have a bit more meat in her diet.

    I tend to eat on the vegetarian side of an omnivore diet, but I quite happily devour meat, ribs being one of my favourite things. We try to have fish 1-2 nights a week, but are mainly on the conventional beef & lamb. Rarely do we eat chicken. I sometimes crave tofu.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney April 10, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

      Yes, I’m starting to think the same thing. I think the problem will be somewhat self-correcting as we head into winter and I crave comfort food. It is just so easy in Summer when the garden is producing abundantly to just eat what is on hand, and not to bother defrosting anything.

  10. Sas April 8, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    Thank you for the laugh. The mental picture of J the Hun was really too cute!

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney April 10, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

      We really need to catch up for a BBQ sometime, S. We need to see each other’s children in the flesh rather than just hearing regular (albeit hilarious) anecdotes.

  11. digging up the dirt April 18, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    I have been a vegetarian for about 21 years now (never was a great fan of meat so I gave up because I don’t really like it rather than for ethics, strangely I do like the smell of a bbq but have no interest in eating the result). It all takes some practice at ensuring you get enough protein but there are some amazing recipes out there. I do try once a week to do vegan day but I just love cheese and eggs.

    Love the blog and very impressed with your lovely laid out garden spaces. I should make bigger veggie spaces but my neighbours trees do shade quite a bit of the garden.

  12. Emma | The Handmade Amoeba April 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    Oh, that was funny…. especially the bit about fava beans and chianti!! Not many blogs make me laugh, but that was brilliant! Thanks šŸ™‚

    My son started life as a veggie because we were…. however with greater availability of organic meat I started to introduce it and he loves it all… even the roo. He’s a tall 15 now and is on a mission to try out croc!

    My daughter would go veggie if she could find enough that she liked… being fussier makes it harder. She’s at the stage (age 11) where eating cute animals (lambs anyone?) is causing serious dichotomy with their delish taste. Eh!

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