Working Day

June 3, 2008 at 11:22 am Leave a comment

Yesterday, I spent primarily catching up with things in the office. A bit boring, but it has to be the focus from time to time.

I did have a noteworthy dinner, tho, as I roasted up a truly outstanding chicken from Fickle Creek Farm for dinner last night. I swore off meat from Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) after reading Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma or more accurately listening to it via digital download.

I’m certainly not proud of my tardiness on that front. In fact, it makes me feel perhaps a bit as many people in the U.S. must have felt near the conclusion of WWII when the reality of the concentration camps was made manifest. They’d heard rumors and they sorta knew this was going on, but they didn’t want to quite face the implications of it all. But, then — boom — it was part of reality and there was no going back to the way things had been before.

I’ve been trying to think of what made the difference for me in vaguely hearing about the conditions of those places and deploring it all but continuing to eat the meat and then having this “Ewww. You actually expect me to put that in my mouth” reaction after reading/hearing Pollan’s description. And I think perhaps it was the personal focus he put onto it. He bought a cow — a particular, individual animal with whom he had a relationship of sorts. And then he went to see his cow. He was there, standing shin deep in cow poop, standing by his cow, touchingly wearing the same sweater he had worn before hoping for some recognition from the cow and describing the scene.

I was raised for part of my childhood on a sort of working farm. We had chickens, guinea hens, a working garden, horses, and 4-H sheep and one year a steer. I thought I knew what happened to animals and what it took to have beef or pork or chicken on the dinner menu. And I thought I had no problem with that. But Pollan really made it stick for me that how your food (both plant and animal) lives before it gets to your market basket is…..important. That seems like such a crashingly obvious point now that I’m almost embarrassed to type it. It seems almost like solemly reporting — Gee. The sky? Blue again. Imagine that. But I know that even a few months ago pastured meat was “on my list of things I really need to try” rather than “If I’m eating meat at all, this is where it comes from.” So, that sky….still blue.

And that meat? Damn, it was delicious. That was actually what I started out to report. The stunning and mouth-watering difference between the mushy, indistinct rotissere chickens I used to bring home from the grocery store for $7/bird versus the flavor-filled, firm roasting chicken I picked up on Saturday for just over twice that amount. Worth every penny and then some.


Entry filed under: Cooking, Piedmont.

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