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.