Yes, it's true. The two most important things you can do to save the planet are:
1. Work close to home and drive a fuel-efficient car, like a hybrid
2. Eat local organic foods and pastured organic meat & dairy
Listen folks, we cast the most powerful votes with our wallets! If we were all to eat locally, think of all the fossil fuels that would be saved from shipping. Also, all the health benefits! And supporting your local organic pastured farm who is supporting the environment. If we all ate locally, then that would reduce the amount of Industrial Farming that is ruining this country.
And don't forget how healthy it is for you! Your food is fresh, still bursting with the most nutrients possible. You are eating seasonally, which is cheaper and more natural. Yes, my meat costs more from the farm, because of the way it is raised. There is nothing comparable at the market - I have no guarantee of how these animals are raised and how long the cows actually ate grass... or what was actually fed to the chickens (did they eat grubs and insects as is natural?? Or were they fed organic soy and fish meal in a dark barn?). Also, hey, it just tastes better. Seriously. It tastes so good. Eating cheap is costing this country a LOT of money. Industrial farms are not profitable, they ruin the environment with pesticide run-off, and raise our taxes. From Real Food, by Nina Planck:
So cheap meat isn't really cheap. And it costs us in health as well. But, just a note, my local eggs are cheaper and way better than the store's "organic" eggs. Yes, some things are cheaper. I bet I spend less on my food budget each month than other organic eaters.
I know where my chicken comes from, and what it eats (soy-free!) and I feel good about eating it. I know it led a happy chicken life and was prepared for our table with care. I will post soon about ways to save money while eating healthy real food. It is full of monounsaturated oleic acid, which lowers LDL. It is full of CLA, the anti-cancer fat which fights cancer and builds lean muscle. And it boosts immunity! And where is most of this good stuff? In the mostly un-saturated fat of the chicken. Yes, in the FAT! (of course, I have nothing against pastured or coconut saturated fat, but all kinds of natural fat is good for you!)
I know it is not bleached with chlorine like regular chicken at the store, to kill harmful bacteria, because it doesn't need to be. The risk of harmful bacteria in pastured meat is very very low. That comes from feedlots and chickens stuck in a barn standing in their own waste.
OK, on to the yummy chicken recipe! Thanks for reading. I'm passionate! If this interests you, read Real Food and Omnivore's Dilemma. Those are my two favorite books on this subject.
Okay folks, don't be scared. This took me only 15 minutes to prepare before I had any coffee. And to be honest, I hardly ever make a roast chicken, because I always think it will be hard. But, it wasn't!! It was EASY! Try it!!!
You can use any veggies you want... if you don't have a roaster pan and you don't have asparagus, you can use celery in the same way. If you don't have bacon, you can make this mixture with butter. I would have used more but I just didn't have that many lying around. I did add some potatoes for my husband.. not very low carb, I know. I'll try not to eat them. ;)
Bacon & Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Asparagus & Tomatoes
adapted from this recipe
about a 4 lb organic pastured chicken
4 slices pastured pork bacon, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary or a heaping 1/4 teaspoon dried (technically 1/3rd teaspoon)
1 teaspoon fresh basil or a heaping 1/4 teaspoon dried
a teaspoon each of sea salt & pepper, plus a little extra (or to taste)
2- 3 garlic cloves
one small onion, peeled and quarted
one bunch of organic (local!) asparagus
a handful of organic grape tomatoes
4-6 Tablespoons grass-fed pastured butter/lard, or EVOO or Coconut/Palm oil
roaster pan or baking pan
baster, or use spoon
Preheat oven to 450˚F. Rinse off your chicken and pat dry. Make sure there is nothing in cavity (if you bought it from the store). In a food processor, blend bacon, rosemary, basil, garlic, s&p until it becomes finely minced or has a paste like consistency. Put your fingers between the skin and meat of the chicken breasts and legs, loosening skin. Spread the minced bacon mixture under the skin, pressing and working it towards the back and towards the legs so it is evenly over the meat. Place any extra inside the cavity with the onion.
Wash and cut the ends off your asparagus and place them side by side in the bottom of the pan (especially if you don't have a roaster pan, like me). Place the chicken breast side down on the asparagus. Sprinkle extra s&p on top of the chicken. Place pats of butter or pour your oil on top of the chicken and roast for 10 - 15 minutes. Baste with butter from bottom of pan. Turn heat down to 350˚F and baste every 20 minutes. Roast for about 17 to 20 minutes per pound, or until an instant-read thermometer reads about 165 to 170° when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh and juices run clear (not bloody). It should be very brown, not just light brown on top. Let sit for 10 minutes without cutting when you remove it from oven.