(Roasted chicken, could be organic, kind of; though my new friends, the anti- butter, anti-honey militia would not be delighted to see this.)
By now I am well into my third month with a brand new life. It started out with the fact that after only three decades of eating meat every day and I-dunno-how-many- beers there was only a hairy blubber left to look at in the mirror. I took all those pills against the effects of obesity, rapidly closed in on a shameful cause of death and so it was time to do something. During my change of life I nevertheless wolfed down loads of cheese and fish, enjoyed wine and moderate moving on the treadmill. Turned out, a month without meat or beer made me lose a considerable hunk of weight anyway. Naturally such behavior must be rewarded. A bit of crunchy duck, half a truckload of beef and pork, washed down with Germany’s finest brews freshly imported from Total Wine, just like in the good old days. Strangely, the immediate sweating, the overstuffed feeling paired with a weird state of culinary inebriation wasn’t for me anymore. Enjoyable this feasting was, yes. It’s just that apart from another 60 pounds to get rid of, I felt better without meat, so I went for a second month. Beer was a traditionally strong temptation, meat to a lesser extent. It is a good thing to break bad habits. It is a hard thing to continue breaking them, but only if there are no rewards like pizza, a (strictly business) meeting with a fellow German entrepreneur or a beautiful evening on the balcony with a lemony white wine, and my wife, of course.
Good thing she never liked the texture and taste of meat a lot.
Then after the second hiatus from this dreadful abstinence, a third month began, begins, actually. It must be the fifth day or so by now.
The best wife of all brought home a book. She reads, good thing, there is nothing better in life when you have nothing to do but read.
What does she read? Anything, really, only last time she brought this book, “Righteous Pork Chop”, by Nicolette Hahn Niman. It deals with the way animals are raised. Couldn’t she bring home something like Marcel Proust “Remembrance of Things Past”, where he dwells forever on the taste of Madeleines ?
But then I would imagine the bleach and potassium bromate, the hardened vegetable fats enriched with wicked flavors made from sawdust (strawberry flavor), among other ingredients. I am just too much of a food freak not to have these thoughts.
I also remember an extremely tasty barnyard chicken I ate once. It lived to see many months more than the 36 day old concentration camp chickens from the freezer aisle in Germany, those tasted like pooh.
Looks like this country has a problem with bad food as well, and I wonder why? Is it because only a few workers now oversee a pig farm with a capacity of up to 850 000? This single farm produces more fecal waste that New York City. And there are many big farms - pork, chicken, beef. Football field size lagoons of manure dot the landscape. These operations pollute the rivers, create a nasty smelling cloud, but that’s it, isn’t it? The pigs have a lot of space to roam around, about two feet by five feet, should be enough for a 300 to 500 pound animal, right? An ideal size confinement for a huge pig, just so the animal can’t turn around all its life, causing sores, which is one reason, the USDA estimates that 97% of all hogs receive antibiotics continuously with their feed. All these stories about pigs getting their sensitive tails cut off, cannibalism and farms where the entire ten thousand strong population of hogs suffocates within hours, because a power cut shuts off ventilation, these stories are not true, one would hope.
No sir, the meat and dairy industry holds its clients in high regard. Take chicken, the egg laying breed as opposed to the meat producing one. Egg laying chicken are selected by gender right after hatching, and the male ones unfortunately do not produce eggs. But they are still valuable and end up with feathers and pooh as animal feed. Tasty, like the story of this guy in Miami: He wrote an article about this.
Cattle is a an entirely different story. They live a good life in the feedlots, and only 90% of them receive hormones. This article writes about it, the site is called “the nourished kitchen”. Now leaving out how people are producing ( what a word) turkey meat , and the way some fish farming work I feel compelled to mention the clever idea of a food magazine. They invited the writer ( some say the best of this time, bummer he’s dead) David Foster Wallace to the lobster festival in Maine and publish his thoughts on it. I guess the editors expected something else than the lengthy result of his research, but we all love lobster and such a noble creature deserves a noble eulogy here
Finally I owe an explanation as to why even organic butter or honey is evil to some. I gather it is because many of us can get caught up in a belief and struggle to view what’s behind the curtain.
I got trapped in thinking I deserve cheap meat, all I can eat.
I did because I am like everyone else, hard wired to overeat on salt, fat and sugar. I still don’t understand how I could eat more than my share of meat products for a large part of my life, because now I live mostly vegan and tend to forget how I got so sick. I want clean food and read every single label of a food item I buy and am in the process of degenerating into a fiber eater, veggies and all. Fortunately there is Hani, he has goat milk, eggs and real food along with many other farmers in the Redlands, South of Miami.
And there is fresh, wild fish in abundance, tropical fruit and veggies everywhere, the sun is shining, life is good.