How did Ethical Omnivore start? Go back several years, I ate meat, dairy and fish every day. I thought vegetarians and vegans were noble folk, but I didn’t have enough motivation or discipline to join them. I was convinced that buying free range and adding veg on the side was enough.
But honestly I still had nagging doubts, so I decided to get some answers, I wanted to fully understand the issues involved, and be able to make an informed decision on the two questions that really bugged me: Could I enjoy the full range of produce without compromising my ethics; and did I really have a healthy diet?
It started as a simple quest, but as I got further in to my research, my views changed more than I could ever have imagined. I have gained a lot of knowledge and found so much useful information that I wanted to share it online with the aim of creating a central source of information that is open to everyone: omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans alike.
Here is a “flavour” of my blog:
*48% of eggs produced in the UK still from caged hens (DEFRA). Did you think about eggs that are used as ingredients, go check the food in your cupboards and read the labels – if it doesn’t specifically state ‘free range’ it is caged egg.
*Salmon and chicken are often the choice of ‘part time’ vegetarians and people eating less meat within a lighter diet, but intensively-farmed salmon and chicken as well as being a very poor quality product, have some of the highest levels of antibiotic use in the food industry. Health-wise, this represents a ticking time bomb.
*Due to monoculture and overuse of pesticides there are not enough bees left to pollinate plants that we grow for food. ‘Bees for hire’ and human pollinators is now part of normal operation. “If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.” attributed to Einstein.
*Zero-grazing dairies – the fastest growing producers of milk in the UK operate using zero-grazing dairies. The cows don’t eat grass in fields, they live in concrete sheds eating grain and fodder. Not only is this a huge animal welfare issue, it alters the omega 3 and 6 in the milk, which is important in preventing a range of diseases including cancer and heart disease (the modern Western diet typically has 15 times more omega 6 than omega 3).
Being an Ethical Omnivore (Ethivore or EOr)
The ethics of diet is not a new topic, and is already widely debated. But it is a recognised fact that our society consumes too much animal produce (meat, fish, dairy, eggs) and that the damage caused by intensive / factory farming is already a runaway train. And so, while we might aim to reduce our intake of these products (reducetarian / flexitarian) it is essential to make the right choices. With approximately 97% of the UK’s population being omnivores, the choices we make help to steer the industry’s decision-making processes. At the moment, these decisions are so far off course, our food security and the health of everyone is at risk, and I guess if you have read this far you might already think that way, too?
The food industry is just that, an industry of giant corporations and conglomerates, powerful and greedy, one which competes with the oil, pharmaceutical, and defence industries in terms of size and strength. The food industry as a whole is unethical and should be a concern to all of us, it is in every cupboard in every home. With each beep of the till, you are making a choice, and as consumers we need to exercise our power to support ethical farming and suppliers whilst cutting off the money flow to those who put profits above anything else. If you don’t buy it they won’t produce it and vice versa if you buy more they’ll produce more.
‘I’ has now become ‘we’ within a growing community of EOrs. The great news is two years on we eat amazing food, enjoy top quality produce and laugh in the face of diet-related health concerns. Plus those nagging doubts have gone. The ability to learn about and embrace this diet without feeling restricted or having to deny myself certain foods was very liberating. Having choice was the key.
If everyone helps to do the same, each little bit will add up to a huge amount. Being an Ethical Omnivore gives a flexible, positive approach to diet, and is intended to be inclusive, supportive and realistic to our busy daily lives.
Blog / Site map
It is roughly split into key areas:
- Knowledge (is power) – The intention is to share information that you need to know to help you make the right choices. It is a mix of my views and insights from leading experts and organisations.
- Health and Diet – Taking positive action to improve health and diet through your food choices.
- Food – Yummy and easy stuff I make (and I mean yummy).
- More – a lists of books, articles, documentaries to view if you want to learn more.
- FAQs – common questions answered.
This is just the start of the journey, we will grow as we go. There are many areas open for debate, and I do not claim to be an authority on these subjects. If you want hard and fast facts, you need to continue the research for yourself, as all the information is out there. Like many people, I try to do the right thing by our furry, fluffy, and feathered friends, while juggling a busy life and indulging my passion for food, health and my desire to question the norm.
We are UK-based so the information is UK-centric, but the same principles apply in every country. Read, question, research, and share.
We are a not-for-profit organisation focused on sharing useful information about the food industry, good food and healthy eating to benefit us all.
The Ethical Omnivore.