Where’s the Beef??

Posted By Holly Olsen / May 2, 2017 / 0 Comments

This post addresses Global Goal #13: Climate Action

As a family, we started watching documentaries and eating air-popped popcorn topped with equal parts maple syrup and coconut oil and a bit of salt (trust me, it is a winning combination). When we do this, we call it “Pop ‘n Doc” because that is more fun to say than popcorn and a documentary.

Late last year for our “Pop ‘n Doc” movie, we cozied up one Sunday afternoon to watch a film called Just Eat It: A Food Waste DocumentaryI thought it would be brilliant for my children to learn about why it is important not to waste their food. Perhaps they would be less inclined to leave the cartons of milk out on the counter or the apple half eaten?

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Well, it turned out to be great. The kids were interested throughout the entire movie. They learned a lot, and we have referenced the messages from the movie many times since watching it to remind each other about the importance of not wasting food and shopping local, etc. One of the surprising results from the film was our collective decision, as a family, to stop eating beef for at least one year.

No more beef for this family in 2017! No more hamburgers, steaks, or any red meat for us. Why, you ask? What does eating beef have to do with not wasting food? Great question…

Among other things, we learned that each hamburger we consume takes the equivalent of a 90 minute shower’s worth of water to produce. Yikes! That sounded unacceptably unsustainable to us, so we are done with beef. We learned similar disturbing facts by watching Before the Flood (which I highly recommend!). 

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Okay, so doing this as a family is a great idea because we are quick to hold each other accountable! I was actually at a restaurant and was about to order a steak tip salad out of habit (something I had often treated myself to in order to help with my iron deficiency) when my 9 year old called me out, “Mom, isn’t steak beef?” she asked. Indeed, dear daughter, it is. I was so grateful that she was taking our challenge seriously enough to catch me. Her level of awareness made me smile.

So, have a watch! See how you feel and what you learn… then let us know your thoughts!

holly

Holly Olsen is a mother of four daughters. She has a long history of activism, creating ripples that have been recognized by the United Nations humanitarian endeavors and Global Citizen. She is a published author, a co-founder of two non-profit organizations, a professor, and is known for her ability to create positive social change. In her blog, you will read about her adventures with and attempts to further the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals).

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