A Quick Lesson in Sustainability

This past weekend Dan and I co-hosted a neighborhood BBQ in which we spit-roasted an absolutely delicious pig from a local farm. Everyone loved it, except Facebook.

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I’m going to just preface this by saying that for 10 years I was a vegetarian. In my defense it was during a period of time (5th grade through college) in which the frontal lobe of the brain, which is responsible for reasoning, was still developing, and in which meat is usually served in loaf form from a cafeteria – not exactly fine dining.

Nevertheless I avoided all meat up until I met my chef husband, who served me chicken wings while drunk after a college party and well, that is something no tofu pup could ever replace.

The point is, I am now reformed and since being married to a chef have come to understand much more intricately the nuances of food and meat and where it comes from (did you know that bacon comes from the tender meat just under a pig’s ribs?) and how it’s cooked which makes eating things like calf heart all the more enjoyable (don’t knock it ’til you try it!)

But if you’re a vegetarian and you love it, you do you. That’s cool. Just don’t get all 😫 on me when I roast a pig.

Because here’s the thing.

We roasted a pig that grew up in a pretty field down the road and we fed an entire neighborhood with it. We used every single part of that pig, including the carcass, which is being boiled down for stock. We gave our money to local family farmers, instead of factory farmers somewhere in Indiana. There is nothing more humane or sustainable than that.

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If you don’t want to eat meat, don’t. But if you don’t want to eat a spit-roasted pig because it grosses you out, yet you order extra bacon on your double cheeseburger – get real. Understanding where your food comes from and how it’s made is critical in creating a truly sustainable food system.

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My mom told me a story once about how she taught a workshop with school age kids on where food comes from and when she asked them where asparagus comes from (meaning the ground, a bush, a tree, etc.), the majority of the kids literally said “the grocery store.” Not facetiously – honestly. They had no idea where asparagus actually came from outside of a store.

That is SO SAD.

My daughters will not grow up like that. Mia knows where asparagus comes from (stalks in our garden) and now she knows where bacon comes from, too.

Interestingly, none of the kids at our BBQ were grossed out even in the slightest by the pig roast. In fact, one little three-year-old asked if next time we could do a cow. They were curious, excited, and a few of them indifferent to the animal roasting over a slow fire (they were much more interested in eating ice out of the keg bucket). Because why would they be anything else?

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It’s just food. It’s just life. And I guarantee you if pigs ever evolve enough to be able to catch humans and spit-roast them over a bonfire – they for sure will not hesitate to do so.

Good for them.

 

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