Monday, October 5, 2009

Why Vegan? Reason #768 and the current olive climate

Just one of the endless reasons. I came across this story from the NY Times through a few other blogs and I just felt I needed to help pass it on. The story talks not only on food borne illnesses but also touches on how food safety procedures and "laws" are not followed and barely enforced.

If the story about where hamburger comes from isn't enough to put you off your meats then the food safety issue certainly should put you over the edge.

"But I only buy organic meat" you say. "Happy meat," as it is often referred to, is not safe from this particular issue. Organic and conventionally raised cows go to the same slaughter houses. They are killed the same way and processed on the same conveyor belts by the same under paid and over worked employees.

I'm traditionally not the pushy type really but I'm growing into a slightly pushy person the more I come up against this denial from the majority of the world's population. Eating meat this way isn't healthy and it isn't natural. How is this natural? It kinda freaks me out to look at. A crop of cows. For a happy meat view just imagine grass under their feet.
a CAFO - Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation
(Image source:

But as this is mofo let's have a little food here to take the pain out of my head from the above mentioned insanity which was kinda chaotically written.

Yesterday I went on a crazy walk around Granada in search of an herbolario (natural health/whole foods stores) to try and buy some grains other than rice and maybe if I'm lucky some reasonably priced tahini. Of course these shops are tiny so no matter how well stocked they won't have loads but that's ok because I have neither loads of money or loads of space to store random bits. I'll share my finds another post but I was super excited to find olives.
The olives might not seem like anything special but let me tell you. This is the first place I've come to that I can buy olives in bulk. Spain grows plenty of olives, lots of green olives which is ok because I like those too. However in just about all the shops you can only buy canned green or black olives. The black ones taste like nothing, a true crime if you ask me, but that's no different than canned olives in the US. The green ones vary from tasting lightly olivy to pretty good. Getting the ones with pits still in them is the key here but still stay away from the black ones. Even with the pits they taste of nothing. The green pimento stuffed ones are acceptable (watch out for anchovy stuffed olives, the most common stuffing). When you come to the plastic packets of green olives with pits, these are the best cheap packaged olives.

If anyone has some tips for olive consumption in Spain for me please let me know. Spain produces just under half the world's olives. Why is it so hard to find good ones? Are they hiding them in the midst of all that meat so I won't see them as I run past?


Jeni Treehugger said...

Another point about organic meat is that in order to comply with the strict regulations the organic farming industry demands – many animals are not treated with medication when they are ill. So their suffering is made even worse (if that's at all possible).
Now - onto the olives. The best olives I have had here are the ones you get from the markets. They are about the size of a cherry plum tomato (a bit bigger in fact) and are stuffed with an entire clove of garlic. They are phenomenal. Do you have a Carrefour near you? Look out for one on your travels because they sell these exact olives in their candy booth that is usually at the entrance to the main store. But you should be able to get them easily from any market otherwise.

Anonymous said...

God I love olives! I would be lost without them good luck finding ones you like!

cruz said...
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cruz said...
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