How an empty freezer has so much more meaning now…

This is the first time I have seen our freezer so empty in a long time…a few bags of garden carrots and a jar of homemade chicken stock.  Most times I would not think anything of it or maybe think how awesome to have so much room for some freezer meals.  I like to think two weeks ahead on meal planning and as I sat down today I was a bit put off not having any meat in our freezer to plan around.  That being said, not all our meals have meat in them but I would say over half do.  This summer our freezer has been stocked with venison and chicken and it has been amazing to meal plan around what’s in the freezer paired with whats in the garden.  

As I’ve become more educated on large manufacturers in the meat industry, I’m finding it hard to purchase from the grocery store.  When available I will purchase grass fed or organic meat but as I’ve learned labels can be very deceiving.  Often times, I feel somewhat of a distrust from what organic or antibiotic free really means and what is allowed in guidelines with certain labeling.  I’ve done some searching for local foods but many are sold out in our nearby area.  After thinking it through, here are my reasons for feeling down about my temporary empty freezer. 

1.  I have a picturesque view on how my meat was raised which widely varies from reality.  I like to know what’s on my plate was treated humanely prior to being butchered. 

2.  70% of antibiotics in the U.S. are used on livestock due to unsanitary conditions.  This gives me distrust knowing animals are living in such unsanitary conditions that so much antibiotics are needed to keep the animal alive and productive. 

3.  From an environmental standpoint, I want to know how manure is being managed as often times poor management of manure can lead to polluting rivers and streams.  

4.  Having a freezer full of delicious meat gives me food security.  With a freezer full of homegrown meat, I don’t need to run to the store to cook up a delicious meal but only some creativeness in the kitchen with what I’ve got. 

Our freezer will soon be full again but in the meantime I’m still on the hunt for local grown meat till we have our own again and continue to love my vegetarian meals as well.  Tonight on the menu…homemade cheese pizza. 🙂

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