What we eat, where we get it, how it's produced.
Jonathon Safran Foer has a new book out called Eating Animals.
In which he apparently takes factory farming to the mat.
And he's not alone, of course.
We've got everyone from Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) to Sally Fallon (Nourishing Traditions) to Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle) suggesting that we be more thoughtful in the way we talk about, grow or shop for, prepare and eat our food.
I grew up eating fresh fish and game -- lots of it -- and the only growth hormones in my body were my own. I've been a pesco-vegetarian for more than twenty years now, but when I quit eating meat, it wasn't a radical decision. It was more that I was grossed out by McDonalds, I'd never ordered a steak in my life and I still loved sushi. Clear as glass. Over time, I've become much more attuned to the subtleties of this decision and the others regarding food. I carry a little card instructing me on which fish purchases are healthiest and most sustainable. I subscribe to a C.S.A. farm basket service. I try hard feed my family of omnivores fresh food full of the good stuff and free of the bad.
Still, gardens and grocery stores are evolving, the planet's food sources are in flux, and I'm a long way from really learning to cook. It's an ongoing education. And this morning's lesson comes from poet Donald Hall. I think I ought to caution you that this is truly graphic but also strangely beautiful -- exquisite, even -- in its detail. And, it makes me think...
Eating the Pig
by Donald Hall
Twelve people, most of us strangers, stand in a room
in Ann Arbor, drinking Cribari from jars.
Then two young men, who cooked him,
carry him to the table
on a large square of plywood: his body
striped, like a tiger cat’s, from the basting,
his legs long, much longer than a cat’s,
and the striped hide as shiny as vinyl.
Now I see his head, as he takes his place
at the center of the table,
his wide pig’s head; and he looks like the javelina
that ran in front of the car, in the desert outside Tucson,
and I am drawn to him, my brother the pig,
with his large ears cocked forward,
with his tight snout, with his small ferocious teeth
in a jaw propped open
by an apple. How bizarre, this raw apple clenched
in a cooked face! Then I see his eyes,
his eyes cramped shut, his no-eyes, his eyes like X’s
in a comic strip, when the character gets knocked out.
(Do go read the rest here... )