Originally, I had planned to make this month's challenge all about meat. Meat is a challenging subject. Uncooked, it's colorful, but can be off-putting. Cooked, it is critical to bring out the texture to avoid a big brown or grey looking blob. And, then you get to slicing... just thinking about having to neatly slice a turkey breast makes me shudder a bit. Then, I watched this fantastic talk by Mark Bittman about the problems of how we eat. Which largely boil down to too much meat. It's bad for our health, it's bad for the environment. It's not that everyone needs to run out and become a vegetarian... it's just that we need to think about the impact of our choices on ourselves and our planet. And, with that, I knew I wasn't going to feel good about making this month's challenge all about meat. The good news is that in general, proteins have similar issues. A big block of tofu is hardly mouth-watering without some work. Fish can be just as challenging to make appealing. So, this month's challenge will be about complete proteins. Note the word complete there... you can do beans, but they need to have some grains with them! I'm also going to be a stickler about the protein being the subject. If you have a bowl of goopy curry that makes it impossible to tell a carrot from a chunk of lamb, it doesn't count. The idea is to see what you can do with making the protein the star. I'm also making another change to the group this month. I'm going to drop the per-image approval (yay!) but replace it by requiring folks to read the rules before they join. If you submit photos that are not relevant to the theme, you may be removed from the group. It's not personal; it's not even that the photos aren't good... it's just that to make this a useful group, folks need to follow the rules. The usual rules and are up on the Flickr group... the things like be constructive, take the photos during the month if possible, 3 photos per person and the last day will be around January 31st give or take a few days.