In which we locally groan

Eat Turkey Responsibly

I wish I could say I thought Locally Groan up myself, but I have to fess up and give credit to Tim Philpott of Grist,  a favorite site of mine.  In Philpott’s blog post this week, he referred to the New York Times blog of Peter Meehan’s, Grass Fed. Do read both please, you won’t regret it.

Anyway, Philpott writes, “Insofar as the sustainable food movement is about consumption — buying this and not that — then snobbery, over-earnestness, and tsk-tsk-ing of people’s personal choices is devastating. It turns off out-of-the-know consumers; and there goes the growth prospects of your consumers’ movement. Memo to judgmental and/or snotty locavores: meet people where they are.”

So, as I write this, please accept my sincerest effort to not be THAT food tyrant/bully.  My interest in your shopping choices is not about impressing you with my on trend coolness. It’s because food is not just about eating; food is a whole package of politics, civil rights, worker rights, animal welfare, environmentalism and corporate watchdogging packed into every yummy bite.

The holidays are the perfect opportunity for me to slap you around with my horrid statistics about the true cost of the free gift turkey from your big box grocery store, how chemical laden cranberries aren’t good for you or anybody and don’t even get me started on the Stove Top Stuffing. But I won’t because those foods are now an actual holiday tradition for lots of people, not just a rushed homage to the Norman Rockwell original.

Pittsburgh is really stepping up to the plate where food choices are concerned.  Check out this link to Slow Food Pittsburgh’s Farmers @ Firehouse Market and consider ordering your holiday meat from the Laptop Butcher Shop.  Plus, the market is one of Pittsburgh’s best Saturday morning traditions! What a great holiday kickoff to enjoy now, while you still have time to be discriminating. The market opens at 9, so you have plenty of time for breakfast at Pamela’s or DeLuca’s first.

No, your turkey will not be free. And yes, you may pay $4.00 or more for eggs. But – I served one of Maggie Henry’s turkeys last year and I guarantee you have not eaten turkey until you’ve tried one of hers.  And, while you’re at it, buy Maggie’s eggs – I never knew eggs could be like this.  Nutrient for nutrient, carefully raised meat, dairy and eggs are a bargain at the price.

You, the environment, the animals and the economy are much better off when you choose the least expensive cut of the best reared meat over the fanciest cut of factory raised.

To REALLY up your game, check out the definitive meat guide – The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, my Bible of responsible and delicious meat.  And, Darina Allen’s Forgotten Skills of Cooking is a great inspiration.

Like all the best things, unforgettable holidays take a bit of time to plan, so get to it!


Who does not thank for little will not thank for much

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx— Estonian proverb

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