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The season of grilling is upon us (graduation, the last day of school, Memorial Day), and it’s a good thing, because I’ve been dreaming of juicy holiday burgers for weeks. I’ve already paired my imaginary burgers with sangria and strawberry shortcake. I’m even thinking of making my own ketchup this year. There’s just one damper on my dreams. Organic meat. I’m not worried about the meat itself. Rather, I’m concerned that it might not be on the menus of the barbecues I’ve been penciling into my calendar.
In the last year, I, like many other folks in the country, have made a pledge to eat organic, naturally or humanely raised meat. If those choices aren’t available, then I’ll eat vegetables. Which is why last night I had eggs and root vegetable hash for dinner, and tomorrow I’ll have fried garbanzos with eggs. Of course, not everyone has made the same pledge. Even if they have made such a commitment, they may not adhere to it when hosting a large barbecue, when we’re more likely to see growth hormones hit the grill. That’s what I’m dreading. I understand there are ways to ensure organic burgers, steaks, or even chicken breasts are worked into the party menu. A thoughtful guest, when she receives her party Evite, might call the host to ask, “Hey, how can I help? Let me bring something to toss on the grill.” As soon as a confirmation echoes through the receiver, that thoughtful guest can jet to the nearest King Soopers or Whole Foods for grass-fed beef. I can be thoughtful. And I may even offer to bring cookies along with the “something to toss on the grill,” but I still have this nagging feeling that maybe I shouldn’t have to. Shouldn’t my hosts, who know how I eat, simply offer organic options (or vegetables), as I would do for them?