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A Scale Model Omnivore's Dilemma

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Sep 22, 2008 9:10PM

2008_09_smiths.jpgGrowing up in a family with Southern roots, we were always exposed to freshly butchered meat. Mom bought poultry on a regular basis from Ciales on Armitage or Western Meat Market, by Clemente High School. Our stepfather's family ran a livestock abbatoir/market in Mississippi. One of our first summer jobs was at a catfish farm in Tennessee. We were paid by the dressed pound, which might have seemed like an urchin's wage. But that job paid for our first trip to Mexico. Our brother-in-law traps raccoons in Wisconsin every winter to sell the fur and cook the meat, and we've hunted for deer, boar and the wily squirrel. It forces one to come to terms in his approach towards eating meat. It's not taken lightly in our family, believe that.

The Trib's Monica Eng recently went on a six-week sojourn to personally watch livestock, poultry and seafood be killed in order to reach her plate, and reported on her reactions in yesterday's paper. Unsurprisingly, she had the hardest time dropping blue crab in boiling water (crabs and lobster have always been the hardest for us to kill, as well). Eng does an amazing job of conveying the range of emotions she felt watching the various animals get stunned and slaughtered in front of her.

While Eng does resort to giving her chicken and fish nicknames, overall it's an in-depth look at how we source our food. What we wanted to see was more from Eng on the economics of freshly butchered meat, poultry and fish. We're of the opinion that this ties to one of the basic tenets of the slow food/localvore movement: creating a self-sustaining local agriculture economy. [Tribune]