Saturday, December 8, 2012

Talking With My Mouth Full

Friday I dvr'd the Today show so I could watch a story on the Hobbit movie. Little did I know that another fantasy type story would follow it with Mark Bittman fixing a pork supper. Now I, or perhaps I should say the cows, have not agreed with Mr. Bittman's opinions before and this time was no different. The pork roast and fixins looked delicious when he was finished, there is no doubt about that, but it was the comments made about the pork that I am at odds with.

He began by talking about how industrial raised pork has lost its flavor and how you can only get the best by getting sustainable, naturally raised, local pork. He went on to say that you have to buy very expensive pork for it to be any good. I didn't really need my HDTV to see him very clearly looking down his nose at me. I had just finished the leftover Boston butt pork roast my wife had purchased on sale and turned into barbecue and thought it was good. Now that I had been informed how cheap the meat was I have realized that it actually didn't taste good at all. Right. -

Now don't get me wrong, I want high quality food for my family, and if some production method is proven to be harmful then I don't want to be a part of it. I want quality raised animals for my family. While some people still brag about the things they own in order to feel more important, one of the newer ways is to brag about how much better your food is than theirs as in the pork example I started this with. The other way is to make you feel guilty about your food purchases.

How guilt free do you want to be in your meat purchasing? Whole Foods Market has a 5 Step Animal Welfare Ratings Standards so you can decide which purchase makes you a better person. Should you pick from #1, which is only no crates or no cages, or #5 where they are raised animal centered on one farm? Obviously the only way you can sleep at night is to choose #5, or none at all. This is not a sane way to be well informed on your meat purchases.

Maybe the food critics that are supposed to be leading us to better fortunes should focus more on how to prepare food in healthier ways that are actually tasty and affordable for regular people instead of insisting on assuaging our new found guilt by way of high dollar, pristinely raised food purchases. 

I hope I have not come across as pro this way or con that. I think there is plenty of room in the agriculture landscape for all kinds of production methods; big or small, organic or not, etc. I just don't think we should crucify one way and praise the other to the heavens. Everything has its place.

I'm climbing off my high horse now. Feel free to kick me on the way down.

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