Saturday, September 1, 2007

Omnivore's Dilemma

Here is a book I'm coveting and below is the beautiful cover. I'm putting it on a list for library interloaning (small town = small library) together with The Long Emergency and Barbara Kingsolver's latest book.

The website link has a pdf of the intro and first chapter which I read in the Guardian Weekly earlier this year. Other ethical foodie writers who I respect a lot are Joanna Blythman and Felicity Lawrence.

So how is my own omnivore's dilemma playing out? Patchily, I'll fess from the start. When life sucks, I sometimes head to KFC which is evil on every front according to my usual criteria. Globalised, poor wages, hormone/bad diet/bad treatment - fed chicken, unnecessary packaging, fatty etc.

But actually life doesn't suck for me every day and I do think carefully about what gets purchased and eaten in our house. Which starts with not getting everything from the supermarket. I'm still working on getting some more wild meat into our diet. Hunting is a popular sport in our small town and as far as I can work out, reducing the population of wild deer and wild pigs in our forests is good for the native flora and fauna. Neither Favourite Handyman nor myself are keen on getting out there gunning but we know it is a matter of time before we meet keen hunters who can't be bothered eating their catch. One of my savvy aunties also gave me a good tip: to go along to pig hunting competitions (the final prizegiving bit) with some cash in my pocket.

Favourite Handyman has killed a chook though. Here is the story as it happened just before I started blogging.

The rooster arrived in a cat cage on our doorstep (how low carbon footprint is that - Raeleen dropped him off on her way to the kids' hockey game!) at 10am and by midday he was dead, plucked, gutted and hanging in the shed until this morning, when I stuffed him with thyme, rosemary, garlic and lemon and put him in the slow cooker for the day. Dinner tonight tasted
superb. Really really good.

Favourite Handyman used a machete. He found it difficult to bring the knife down and I thought he would never do it again. Then we hung him from the tree to bleed for 30 minutes and then plucked him together. I got the gutting job which I didn't enjoy. I think there is a knack which will make it much easier when/if I acquire it. Kent is up for doing it again and I think next year's outdoor project will be a henhouse to raise birds for eating. I like the idea that when we are about to go on holiday, we can kill and eat the birds and then not get any again for a while. I've been getting into permaculture gardening ideas in a big way which is an incentive to get chooks.

We've had vegetarian phases here and this process of killing and eating an animal ourselves has been an interesting one. It makes me face what I am eating in a way that buying a plastic wrapped piece of meat at the supermarket does not. There is a fishing family at Fionn's kindy and I've started buying fish from them and now with this chicken idea together with the two sources I have for organic beef and lamb in our region, it looks like we can confine our meat eating to local produce.

Our biggest move away from supermarket dependency has been growing our own veg, but I'm not talking about that much atm as it hasn't stopped raining in more days than I can recall and so I can't garden.

1 comment:

Sharonnz said...

Omnivore's Dilemna is on my must-read list but I've put aside the "thinking/challenging" stuff for light murder mysteries with a knitting theme...yes, really. Kingsolver's is a must-own!