Do pork and meat really come from little plastic and Styrofoam containers on the butcher’s shelf at your large grocery chain or big box mega store? Didn’t think so either. The so called “swine flu” may or may not be an international pandemic that will bring about world disorder but it does bring up the subject of knowing where your food comes from.
Recently Slow Food Delta Diablo Chapter had the “Pork on Your Fork” event at a farm in Brentwood where a pig and a couple goats were slaughtered with an audience. Shot in the head and throat slit faster than you can say “I’ll have bacon with that” may sound a bit creepy, to me it sounded fascinating, but the event was specifically organized to bring awareness to the subject of how the little piggy gets from rolling in the mud to the Styrofoam.
Once the event was publicized there were a few irate, incredibly insulted vegetarians that contacted us about why and how we could possibly subject humans to this horrific experience.
Don’t get me wrong, I am no lover of pork or pork product unless I am in a small village in Italy because of the way America raises and processes pig meat. Large scale production, 99% of pork production, is cruel and disgusting producing unhealthy, hormone and antibiotic stuffed pork meat for consumption but as always consumers hold the keys to the pig pen by voting with their dollars. Just as the organic foods movement has raced into Americas consciousness so will small scale meat production, if we demand it. Currently you have to put a little effort into finding some decently raised meat to buy and feed yourself and your family. Whole Foods and Prather Ranch Meats are worth looking at on a large scale but do fit into the large grocery category. Also becoming popular are CSA’s for meat. Marin Sun Farms (415.663.8997) has been around for awhile and are getting into chicken meat as well as beef and pork and in Vacaville Natures Bounty Farms ((707) 693-0908) produces all natural hormone and antibiotic meat for sale. They have been raising livestock for 16 years and are actually certified meat inspectors. The Bay Area Meat CSA managed by Berkeley Slow Food joins together community people looking for the best local meat choices and pairs up buying and sharing power with local ranchers and producers. Soul Food Farms ((707) 469-0499) produce chicken meat and eggs for sale. There is always the option of buying meat, fish, eggs etc. at your farmers markets too.
These are just a few examples and options of industrious humans demanding a better grade of food as well as a better grade of life and death for animals raised for consumption. As with pretty much all choices of knowing where our food comes from and purchasing what we see as the best quality for our consumption, it takes a little bit more effort than blindly, robotically pulling so called food off the grocery store shelf to line pockets of faceless billionaires’. That effort is well worth it and beautifully transfers some of that booty to the small family growers and producers that not only have a face and name, but have actual farms to go tramp about on while seeing first hand the animals that may be dinner tonight. People are going to continue to eat meat and events like Pork on Your Fork are meant to raise awareness and educate about how meat should be raised and processed. Sorry if we have insulted anyone, it was not intentional, unless of course you are still participating in the disgusting raising and slaughtering of the styrofoam enclosed piggy.