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Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Omnivore's Dilemma; or, Erin's Dilemma

I was hesitant to even put this in my blog because generally declaring something to a public forum means I have to stick with it and can't meaninglessly throw the idea away when I get bored. But maybe being accountable to my millions of readers -- by which I mean mostly Lauren, Joyce and possibly one of my parents -- I'll be forced to commit to a decision for more than five seconds.

I'm going to try vegetarianism. There hasn't been one incident I can point too that sent me in this direction but more a combination of factors. I went more than a decade happily eating only fish, turkey and chicken but could never make the full switch. Living in Korea, a country where everyone seems to love that disgusting meat on a stick, this could be a crazy decision but it also seems like the safest bet to a) actually know what I'm eating and b) keep eating semi-healthfully.

Reading books like The Omnivore's Dilemma and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle completely opened my eyes about the food industry and the more I read about how animals are raised and slaughtered, the more I'm turned off. Add to that the way I see meat treated here in Korea, with uncooked meat sometimes kept out in the hot sun for hours or sitting in a pile on the sidewalk. That can't be sanitary. 

This isn't something I'm going to be incredibly strict about, especially once I move back to the US. If there's no other option than sure, I'll eat some chicken, and I definitely want a piece of turkey at Thanksgiving (my God, I've missed Thanksgiving two years in a row, there's no way I'm passing up on the next one!). But at least for now, this seems like a good move for me.

(EDIT: More accurately, I'm going to be a flexitarian -- "a vegetarian who occasionally eats meat.")

So, yea, that's pretty much the news from my corner of the world. This could be a disastrous, short-lived decision in a country that doesn't seem to have a lot of non-meat protein. I found a recipe to make hummus substituting peanut butter for tahini so I bought a can of outrageously-priced chickpeas at the foreign grocery store, but eggs are probably my new, protein-rich best friend. 

Let's see how long this phase lasts before a massive chicken craving hits.

Tomorrow's a day off to compensate for working Saturday -- hopefully the weather clears up enough to get outside for awhile  (it poured all day yesterday and today was chilly and overcast). There's an interesting cemetery near my house that apparently has nice park, so I'm curious to explore that.

**Anyone have good and protein-full veggie recipes? Remember that I live in a country where it's hard/expensive to find a lot of foreign goods so the fewer ingredients, the better. There aren't even beans!