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No Vacation Required Podcast

For fulfillment fanatics interested in traveling deliriously, living deliberately, and working virtually.

Food for Thought

NVR Guys

Join us in trying to eat fewer animal products, and you'll get a chance to win a Shun paring knife. Ooooh, ahhhh. Details below. Here's the backstory.

We've had an all-over-the-board summer with lots of travel and even more visitors. Because of that, one constant has been more mindless eating than usual. Sure, we've countered our grubby food indulgences with a fair amount of healthy meals, but things aren't as in sync as usual. It feels crappy. Time for a challenge.

Off to the farmer's market we went.

Farmer's Market 1

Farmer's Market 1

We exercise regularly and are on the move a lot, so we notice a big difference when our nutrition suffers. When you have an empty-calorie-laden meal, a 6-8-10 mile run is exponentially more difficult. We do have some parameters in place that keep us from going too far down the unhealthy road. For instance, we haven't had anything but vegetarian meals in our house for several years. Sometimes, our meals are even vegan when we prepare them. The big problem comes when we eat out or are on the road. We fall hard.

About to head off on our big camping/hiking adventure, we decided it was time to do better. To try harder. (Don't worry, we'll still be food crazed; we just want to be a little more mindful.)

Well, guess what? About the same time we made that decision, we heard about some startling statistics:

About 50% of all water used in the United States goes towards raising animals for food.

It takes about 2400 gallons of water to produce one pound of meat.

Raising animals for food uses 30% of the earth's land mass.

Time for some clarification.

1) Our primary reason for trying to eat well is to keep our comprehensive-healthcare-less bodies in good shape.

2) Our primary reason for avoiding animal-centric food is the environment. But – big but – we had no idea just how inefficient, dangerous even, it is to raise animals for food.

Just look at those statistics. They really caught us off guard. Add to that the fact that 1 in 7 world citizens – 1 billion people – are chronically hungry, and you realize that we have no room to not make smarter decision about food consumption.

Farmer's Market

It's a done deal in NVR World. Please join us in committing to one of the following challenges. Small, medium or large. You pick.

Small: Join the Meatless Monday movement – no meat on Mondays.

Medium: Make your home a meat-free zone – eat whatever you want when out.

Large: Offset every day you have meat with a vegan day – this inspires mindful choices.

Tell you what… we're going to attempt to stick to all three, so you can do one, right?! Notice that no option is a zero tolerance zone. We'll continue to have gut busting meals and ridiculous desserts. Just more purposefully.

Follow along as we hit the road for our camping/hiking extravaganza. This general topic – food security – will serve as this year's advo-camping platform. We'll be wearing awesome T-shirts and bribing those we meet to join in the fight to sustain our planet and to feed all humans. Oxfam's GROW campaign (see sidebar --->) provides a lot of informative and helpful information, so we'll be directing people there.

Making the world's food supply more equipped to handle the 7 billion (and soon to be 9 billion) lives that occupy our planet begins with each of us. Like most other people, we struggle at times when it comes to making smart choices, food related and otherwise. We just want to do better – for our health, our planet and for our fellow world citizens. Will you do the same?

Shun Knife

Let us know in comments if you'll take the small or medium or large challenge. Alternatively, pick your own challenge. If you comment with your commitment  (tweet the post too!), we'll give you a chance to win the high quality Shun paring knife pictured. Sorry, hand model not included.

10/15/2012 UPDATE: Congratulations to Marsha for winning the Shun paring knife!