Shout Out

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Photo of "pink slime" or Lean Finely Textured Beef, credit Beef Products Inc.

I don’t have time for much of a post tonight.  But I need to send a shout-out.

See, while I’ve been busy with things lately that have made it hard to post regularly — just life stuff, job stuff, family stuff, and some exciting, fun stuff that I’ll hopefully be able to share soon — some other people have been busy doing amazing, world-changing things.

Bettina Siegel, I’m looking at you.

I don’t know if there’s anyone reading my blog at this point who hasn’t heard of Bettina.  She’s the blogger and mom who started the now-infamous “pink slime” petition that has, quite simply, changed a huge dynamic within our industrial food system in less than 30 days.  It’s amazing.  Remarkable.  And we owe this change, and all changes that flow from it in the world of meat production, to the tireless efforts of one committed human being.

Bettina has taken a lot of…well, I’ll just say it.  She’s taken a lot of shit from a lot of people for her position on pink slime.  She’s still taking flak the likes of which a humble no-name blogger like me will likely never see.  And she’s dealt with it all flawlessly, beautifully, and with the same clear-eyed integrity and sense of purpose that led her to start the campaign against feeding our children adulterated meat in the first place. 

I think we all make change in our own small ways, but when someone in your circle does it so effectively — and so publicly — it’s truly breathtaking.  Every one of us who cares deeply about what the children in this country eat on a daily basis owe Bettina our admiration and respect for the effort she’s put forth to make things better.  And we owe it to her to emulate her in any way we possibly can — her courage, her commitment, her passion, and her grace under pressure.

Red, Round, or Green isn’t a life-changing blog for anybody.  I get that.  I know that when I sit down with my computer to visit with you all, I’m not, in the words of a former boss and mentor of mine, “curing brain cancer, for God’s sake.”  But when I’ve been absent or silent for a while, which happens more than I’d like lately, or when I’m not here all the time to answer your thoughtful comments and keep the discussions going, please know that I’m thinking about this community and the best ways to bring you all information, insight, knowledge, or even just good old plain food fun to maybe enrich your day just a little bit.  I can’t make petition magic like Bettina, maybe, but I can try to keep showing up here, day after day, to learn from her example.  And to teach, just a little, in any way I know how.  Or at least to get a conversation started, which is sometimes the best teaching tool there is.  I’m way behind on posts that I want to write for you all, to answer questions you’ve asked, to give you new things to try, and to keep the lovely community that’s been building here alive and thriving.  Because where communities of like-minded, passionate people thrive, change can begin.

Thanks, Bettina, for being an example for us all.  And thanks for keeping me inspired. 

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29 Responses to Shout Out

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  4. I found RRG first and that led me to the Lunch Tray, and I have very much appreciated getting to know both you and Bettina though your writing and your passion for feeding your families good, healthy food. Keep doing what you’re doing. You are an inspiration to many.

    Deb

  5. Hi folks,
    Just wanted to make a note that I did delete a comment that was left on this post. To the author of said comment, if you’re reading: I didn’t delete your post because of your dislike for my point of view, nor because of your evident distaste for my blog, my work, and my friends. The reason you got moderated out of this discussion is because you chose to lace your comment with profanity, and you engaged in name-calling that was lowbrow enough that I wouldn’t want to share it with others in this community. You can call me a censor if you want — or something else; you and I both know what words you chose in your original remarks — but this is a safe place for debate, and I intend to keep it that way. Only those who cannot convince others of their position through facts and articulate expression resort to swearing, name-calling, and filth. Oh, and by the way, to all those who are accusing me and others of being “foodie elitists” — thank you. But around these parts, we prefer to be called “Nosy Meddling Damned Crunchy Hippie Intellectuals.”

  6. Totally agreed, Bri – I couldn’t have said it better myself! But don’t sell yourself short – You ARE an inspiration, especially in how supportive you are of everyone else. For that, I am very grateful. Big hugs to both of you. xo

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  8. Alissa says:

    Just want to reiterate that you and Bettina are BOTH awesome and inspirational and I have learned so much since I found your blogs a few months back! Thank you for putting into words so many things I have believed for a long time but was not quite eloquent enough to articulate on my own 🙂

  9. You’re both very inspiring. I love to read your blogs…and was so delighted to find them when I first started blogging. Your campaign really hit a nerve, Bettina, and I’m sure it’s not the last time. Keep up the excellent work. We love you for it!
    Karen
    ps And ignore the nasty comments. There are hundreds of thousands of silent supporters cheering you on!!!

  10. Just saw this, now crying.

    Seriously, this was so unexpected, undeserved and just so NICE. I’m at a loss for words, except, of course, thank you!

    And let me echo TB and and Grace above. I know you weren’t begging for compliments but I’m sending one your way anyway, lady. The very first time I found RRG I was immediately drawn in by your writing and your content but most of all by the spirit of kindness and warmth that permeates every post. You’ve taught me so much in the two years we’ve “known” each other — gently contradicting me when I sometimes go astray on weight issues, inspiring me to do better with that damn empty lunch box staring me in the face each morning, and so much more. Yours is a very important voice in our “kids and food” universe.

    And TB is so right about pink slime – no one, least of all I, could have predicted where this petition was going to go. I feel like I accidentally hit the gas pedal on a race car and can now only hold on for dear life. I only hope to conduct myself during this experience half as well as you’ve portrayed me here, Bri.

    Thank you again for bucking me up at a time when the “haters” were really starting to get me down. 🙂

    • Barely Audible Majority says:

      You are correct about the praise being undeserved. You trashed an industry and threw hundreds of ordinary folks out of work, folks who couldn’t afford to buy your overpriced snob food, folks who don’t share your malicious agenda. I suppose it is so very nice and trendy for a few affluent food snobs to impose themselves upon society. You vandals do not represent the majority of American consumers (your evil petition was signed by less than one third of one percent of American consumers) though you did succeed in shouting down the silent majority. Your agenda-driven destruction deserves all the negative attention it receives.

      • Hi Barely Audible Majority, and thanks for showing up to post. I think it’s great that you clearly have such passionate views that differ from mine. You’re more than welcome to share them anytime you’d like. One thing, though — your comment is clearly directed not at me or my work, but at one of my readers. Regardless of who that reader/commenter is, I want to be very clear that I won’t allow my comments board to become a vehicle for personal nastiness or attacks against the people who visit my blog. You’re welcome to share your point of view and any scientific evidence you would like to share. But if I see that the level of civility and decorum here are not being respected, I will begin deleting posts rather than subject readers to attacks from others. Let’s keep it all above the belt, and we’ll get along fine.

      • Lenée says:

        Hmmm,… I’m unemployed, struggling to get by, barely making ends meet…and I still care wholeheartedly what I feed my family. I sacrifice a lot to make sure we get the best food we can. I’m willing to pay a premium to avoid LFTB, as broke as I am….there are many ways to make it work…..

      • Uly says:

        Caring about the food that the government buys to feed poor children in government-run schools is “evil” now? Eating rice and beans instead of meat is eating “overpriced snob food” now?

        Man, I’d hate to see what you call the cackling CEOs making money hand over fist by selling inferior products to the captive audience in schools and prisons. (Actually, prisoners get fed better. Unlike children, when THEY complain, things go… wrong. It’s in our best interest to keep THEM well fed.)

    • Denise says:

      Ha, ha. That’s a laugh…”haters” getting you down. You, Bettina, are a high priestess of the “haters”, what with your scientifically inaccurate propaganda and your evil internet assaults on industry. I suppose you, of all people, should know from “haters”.

      • Hi Denise, thanks for coming to the party! As you’ll see from the response I posted to “Barely Audible Majority,” you’re welcome to share your point of view here. And you can even take potshots at me if you’d like — it’s my blog and my work on display here. But please remember that nastiness towards other readers/commenters here will not be tolerated. So I’m letting comments through for now, just to show that I’m happy to have all voices at the table and I’m not afraid of intelligent debate — but the next time anyone, on either side of the argument, targets another reader with their comments, I will start moderating.

    • Aw, lovefest! 🙂 Bettina, you and I both know this is a mutual admiration society. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to support someone like you, and I’ll continue to do so. Right now you are the face of a fight that’s just the tip of iceberg of all the things we want to accomplish, and that’s a very important position to be in — and one I’m not frankly sure many of us could handle as well as you have. Stay strong. I got your back, lady!

  11. TB says:

    Very nice shout out but don’t kid yourself. You are/will continue to be life changing to many. You have influenced me greatly, I look forward to your posts and blogs to inspire me when I want to take the easy way. You also continue to challenge me when I think I’m doing “okay” (still have yet to make homemade bread or tortillas).

    Bettina is a wonderful writer and has used it to make a difference in something that she is passionate about. So are you, I hate to use the phrase that she “got lucky” because I don’t really mean that. Pink slime is luck to nobody, but she did happen to hit the nail on the head when it came to what would make the general public rise up. Remember, she is not the first, JO was the first I heard of it and for some reason it didn’t change when he said it.

    Keep doing exactly what you are doing. YOU are making a difference everyday.

    • Golly, thanks, TB! 🙂 As I said in response to Grace’s comment, I didn’t mean to sell RRG short, really. I’m so honored to hear, though, that what shows up here influences some of what goes on “out there.” You know? As I continue to be inspired by my fellow bloggers — and as they continue to do amazing work — it’s nice to know that I’m paying that forward in a way.

      • Wow – just revisited this post tonight, Bri, wondering if now you’re wishing you hadn’t stuck your toe into this. I’m sorry that mere mention of my name has brought a host of hostile commenters over to RRG. Just send ’em back to TLT. They’ll be in good company there.

      • No worries, Bettina. I wouldn’t ever want to be the kind of person, or the kind of friend, who would refuse to say what she thinks or stand up for the rights of another to speak her mind because of fear of being attacked. It’s my pleasure to defend your right to speak your truth. And as for the comments, people are emotional on all sides; some express that better than others. But what’s going on here isn’t even a fraction of a microcosm of what has happened to TLT! Yikes!

  12. I had to comment becuase I agree with you. Bettina has done amazing and inspiring work, showing us what can be done when our collective voices come together for change. I am so proud of her and so proud to support her campaign.

    But don’t knock what you do! I am inspired by you too and your wonderful posts and recipes. What I love is the collection of us sharing bits of our lives, sharing advice and stories, providing support and ideas. We come together to support one another day to day and then, when necessary we can stand together to fight something awful like pink slime. Thank you for being part of this great community.

    • Aw, Grace, thanks! I really didn’t mean to knock me or RRG, or any of us — I just meant that maybe what I’m doing over here in my corner of the world is quieter or less splashy. 🙂 Thank you for your lovely comment, though! I agree that i love the collection of ideas and inspirations that happens among all of us who blog passionately and vigorously about the ways we can all do better by ourselves and our kids. Thank YOU for being a leader in this community!

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