So I could share a lot of juicy tidbits from last weeks’ NYT Dining section, but I won’t this time. Check out the link for an interesting article about the fortune cookie. I also enjoyed this week’s "The Pour". Eric Asimov, "The Pour" writer, also had a great post about hangovers on Friday as well.
But what we need to devote our discussion to is Julia Moskin’s article, “Chef’s New Goal: Looking Dinner in the Eye.” Jamie Oliver just got his slaughterman’s license and he, along with other chefs and agricultural ethicists, is dedicated to convincing the public that they need to be on intimate terms with the animals they are eating. Slaughterhouses, death, questions of morality and ethics: these are all part of what gets that yummy food on our table, and the sooner we are aware of this, the better. Why? Because the argument goes that our omnivorous choices will be made with an educated mind and with a greater appreciation for what we put into our bodies.
Jamie Oliver hosted a “gala dinner”, where people sat at their tables, sipped champagne, and watched a chicken get slaughtered and baby chicks get suffocated. I found a video on YouTube where the chicks are being suffocated; apparently, the male chicks are “dispatched” in the egg-laying industry because, since they don’t lay eggs, they’re rather useless. I’ve included the video below. PLEASE DO NOT WATCH THIS IF YOU ARE EASILY DISTURBED!!!! This video is intense and disturbing and challenging, but important, I think.
Obviously, there has been a lot of controversy over this, as there should be. It’s certainly provocative. One of the major reasons for our country’s obesity crisis – our food crisis – and our lack of a food identity is that we are so far removed from the land and the animals. I know, I know, says the gal who lives in
I like the idea discussed in the article that if you’re going to kill an animal for food you “should be able to look it in the eye, taking responsibility for both the treatment it receives in life and the manner of its death.” Mostly I like the idea because it’s just good sense. Now, have I actually looked something in the eye before killing it and eating it? Hell, no. But it’s climbing up my list of things I need to do because I do feel that it’s important. It could turn me vegetarian, perhaps, and I’m okay with that because I’d be making an informed decision based on first-hand knowledge of the process an animal goes through from life to death.
A chef here in NY made a comment in the article that coming face-to-face with the animals we cook is “a pathetic fallacy.” Really??? I disagree. I mean, is it realistic for me to see the pig killed that made my proscuitto? Not really. Or what about the filet mignon that I had for dinner? No, I don’t need to see that specific cow. However, I regularly buy buffalo meat at the