This is no great hardship right now, since it’s high summer and nearby New Jersey, Long Island and upstate New York farms send their produce to city greenmarkets, the most recent of which I discovered is outside my doorstep now through the end of November. The picture above is this week’s greenmarket bounty and the basis of all my meals.
Biscuit, on the other hand, is not a vegetarian–although he does respect my lifestyle. Because of some health problems Biscuit had when I got him, I started learning a lot about what’s in dog food–and let me tell you, it’s not pretty. After hearing from my vet that his prescription food could cause kidney damage, I started cooking his meals, and I’ve been cooking Biscuit’s food for about three years–I have a basic recipe of chicken, rice, and carrots, with additional guest-starring vegetables, turkey, ground beef, fish, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal and once (and much to Biscuit’s disdain) quinoa. Because his diet doesn’t vary much, we supplement with a vitamin to make sure he gets the nutrients he needs.
Buying chicken or turkey for Biscuit was never something I gave much thought to. Shopping for raw meat is not a pleasant experience for me, and to be honest, since it was going to be for my dog, I figured that anything I bought out of the people-food section would do just fine. I just grabbed whatever was available and dumped it in the pan. Except…when you start thinking more about what you eat, then you start thinking more about what you buy. And when you think more about what you buy, that means EVERYTHING you buy. And suddenly I realized that I’m not comfortable buying Purdue ground poultry (recently with bits of blue plastic…mmmm), even if it is just for my dog. After all, I care enough to cook for him, so the “it’s just for my dog” rationale doesn’t really work.
So the past two weeks I’ve stopped at a couple of stands that I’ve never gone to before at the greenmarket. The poultry farm stand and the beef farm stand. Biscuit loves the new DiPaola turkey and while it’s a little shocking to me to pay $7 a pound for dog food, it also really means something knowing that I’m supporting a local producer instead of an animal flesh factory. I’m not going to be joining Biscuit as a carnivore anytime soon, but in the meantime, I’ve added one more stop to my weekly shopping trip.
More to explore: