I started a new book a couple of weeks ago: The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. I read another book by him (The Botany of Desire, also about food-related matters) and vowed to buy any further books he wrote. The Omnivore's Dilemma explores the fundamentals of where modern food comes from; not modern food as in fast food, but as in beef, chicken, lamb. It's not a scare book intended to make you go vegetarian, but by exploring modern farming methods and how they are bad for both the environment and the animal (and ultimately, for us the consumers) it is opening my eyes and making me want to buy local, organic meats.
With those thoughts in mind, a few food things have caught my attention this week:
- Over at Chez Pim, Pim follows Michael Pollan's lead and adopts a cow. Or at least part of one. The return is two gallons of fresh milk a week. If drinking milk didn't make me physically ill, I'd be following hot on Pim's heals.
- One of Pim's readers, the blogger Fresh Ginger, comments that she has a share of a pig. Named Pancetta, it's obvious this little piggie will be pork one day. Ginger promises to blog about Pancetta imminently.
- The New York Times featured two related articles on this theme in the past few months: one by Michael Pollan himself about the forthcoming farm bill, and one about the sustainable methods of raising meat in New Zealand and how their farmers don't live of subsidies. Sadly, the article about sustainability concludes those methods won't float in the US (who ever heard something as crazy as letting a cow eat grass?!)
- Finally, all this thinking leads me to check what foods are at their peak seasonality ths week, courtesy of Eat the Season. I also figure this bit of virtue can help balance out the meaty meal I had at Bodean's earlier in the week.