more food for thought

[preface: obivously, this blog is going to be about more than music, I guess, since I don’t really have a better place to write about this and I really don’t want to create another blog. ]

Last week after much procrastination, the wife and I finally saw Food, Inc, which directly assaulted something I’d been fairly ambivalent about for over a decade now.

Let me set something straight: I love eating meat. I love steak, hamburgers, fried chicken, bacon, pepperoni, you name it. In particular I love roast beef po-boys, Cuban sandwiches, Reubens and above all, North Carolina-style pulled pork. For this latter my passion was extreme: with my old band Shinola we went on several day tours, during one of these Barbequests™ in eastern Carolina we ate at five Q shacks in one day — and created the first N.C. BBQ resource ever on the web back in 1996. In the past few years I’ve had great times smoking pork shoulders in homemade smokers (a la Alton Brown) and homemade hot vinegar sauce made from peppers grown in my backyard.

But before that, as a late teenager and in college I was a vegetarian… not primarily for health reasons, but for all the reasons this film brought back to me. When I started eating meat again it was the result of going through some especially dark times that brought on a nihilistic phase, and while my family was probably relieved that I was eating like a normal American again, I felt like I had sold out somewhat.

And now, the food industry is more consolidated, more streamlined, more disgusting, more dangerous, and more cruel than ever. I don’t want to say too much more, other than you owe it to yourself to see this movie. (You might have to wait for it to come out on DVD at this point, depending where you live.)

It hasn’t made me commit to be a full-on vegetarian again, but it’s made me change my habits about where I buy my food, and not just meat either.

I’ve been researching places to buy meat that comes from cruelty free farms (preferably local), both for home cooking and restaurants. New Orleans, where I live, is a culinary Mecca, but not particularly green. I’m hoping that some of my favorite places to eat are thinking about getting on the bandwagon, if they haven’t already.

Otherwise, sad to say, no barbecue for me.

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