Thursday, December 3, 2009

things I love:

This week, just to show my cynical side, I'm going to begin with something I don't love-- lab grown meat.


Although this article raves of the wonders of this product that is being developed in the Netherlands, touting that it tastes like a "soggy form of pork" and is PETA-approved (two things I look for when shopping for meats), I think I'll skip it. Have I mentioned that I also love sarcasm?

Now here's a trend that I can get behind. Last week, the New York Times ran an article about Urban Hunting. Though somewhat disturbed by inevitable mental imagery of shotguns aimed at briefcased businessmen, cheery children with balloons, or maybe an occasional well-fed squirrel, this actually refers to groups who are taking the localvore craze a step further. A handful of ingenious folk are teaching hunting, butchery, and cookery classes to city folk in New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. Anyone want to start an LA chapter? Though surely not for the faint of heart, the article points out some pretty noteworthy benefits:

Provides food that is as local as you can get--
“If you can shoot a deer in your own backyard, butcher it there, that’s zero food miles,” says hunting teacher Jackson Landers.
Meats are wonderfully far from factory-farmed--
“There’s nothing more organic and free range than meat you hunt for yourself and your family,” says Anthony Licata, editor of Field & Stream magazine.
May be an economical option for budget-crunchers--
Mr. Landers, who tries to take Virginia’s full limit of six deer a year, agreed. For the cost of the necessary licenses, $36.50, he said he can stock his freezer with nearly free protein.

And as anyone who has lived in an area that is populated with deer knows, promoting hunting cuts back on the nasty possibility of deer-related car accidents, which is just a total waste of a poor animal's life, an insurance claim, and many-a-tasty steak.

For your meat-loving friends and family, can I recommend doing some Christmas shopping with Sweet Meats?

They have some clever new products-- DIY plush toys, charms, aprons... Always crafty, thoughtful, and the perfect mix of savory and sweet.

Speaking of Christmas, there are a plethora of bacon candies and treats on the market this year. A stocking stuffer's delight!
Here are some links to get you started:
Bacon Chocolate
Bacon Jelly Beans
Bacon Gumballs
Bacon Coffee
Bacon Beer


  1. Sometimes I worry about this whole locally-sourced trend going a bit too far. I'm all for people learning more about where their food comes from, but imagine if all those city hipsters suddenly took up hunting. There's simply not enough wildlife to support it. There's hardly any deer in southern california as it is, so hopefully when everyone here starts hunting they'll try for wild pigs. Or rats. Or pigeons. And then use them wisely and not buy all kinds of other ingredients for their meals that aren't locally grown or hard on the environment or ridiculously expensive. And realize that it's not "free" but they are taking from the planet and from everyone who shares this earth with them, so maybe they don't need SIX deer. Not that everyone will start hunting all at once, but these are the things that nag at the back of my mind more often than I want them to.

  2. I've been thinking about that too, but I don't think that the number of people who will actually start hunting again as their primary meat source is that great... Half of the hipsters are still vegan and most of the others probably prefer that our industrialized society makes it possible to consume their meat in nugget-form instead of looking like what it came from.
    But the temptation to eat local meat and produce while drinking a bottle of French/Argentinean/Italian wine is pretty great... :)

  3. I've read that getting a guide to teach you pig hunting at Fort Tejon runs around $400. We should get real good at shootin' and then pool our money.