Would you, could you, kill an animal to eat? For most of us, it’s a hypothetical question. We’re not in a position to go out and kill a beast, upon which to feast. Nor do we need to. We can pop down to the local butcher, point to a precisely portioned cut of meat, have it plastic wrapped or or vacuum packed within minutes, and there’s no blood on our hands. Not one crimson splash.
I raise the question because i will be attending a Whole Larder Love food workshop next weekend, where participants have the opportunity to “dispatch” a chicken. Rabbit skinning is also on the agenda, as is plucking and gutting and butchering.
I confidently signed up for the whole hands-on experience (participants can just watch, if they choose), but as the time nears i’ve started to question whether i will be able to see it through. Says my good friend Mel — who is accompanying me on this gastronomic adventure: “I’ll probably chicken out.”
We have chooks at our community garden. When a batch of chicks turned out to be roosters, they were dispatched by one of the garden members. He was qualified for the job. By this time next week i could be, too. Stay tuned.
Horse meat. It’s taboo for me. But what about you? (iStockphoto)
Horse meat has reared it’s ugly head again in the press, with news of equine flesh being substituted for beef on a number of European food production lines. The surreptitious switching of meat is a despicable act, but what if you knew you were being served horse meat. Would you eat it? Continue reading
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is running a lengthy investigation into alleged abuses of market power and unconscionable conduct by the major retailers. About 50 suppliers gave evidence, after being promised confidentiality. This means the ACCC has, for the first time, detailed information concerning allegations of exploitation and manipulation by the big players.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims has has given conditional support to a code of conduct enforceable under the Competition and Consumer Act and for financial penalties if the code is breached. But the major retailers and manufacturers, which are working on their own voluntary code of conduct, argue that further regulation is not needed.
What do you think. Is greater regulation of the industry required?
Oranges on sale at a farmers’ market
It’s easy to find a farmers’ market within a reasonable distance these days, whether you’re a city dweller or you live out in the sticks. At best they sell hand-raised produce and home-made supplies fresh from a farm-gate or market garden — small producers, selling reasonably priced, seasonal bits and bobs, and other artisanal tidbits. At worst, they’re over-priced, commercial wallet-traps, and don’t have a single farmer on site. Are farmers’ markets the real McCoy, or have they become a middle class, minority interest that serve to further disenfranchise less fortunate demographic groups who would most benefit from fresh, unprocessed produce?
To tip, or not to tip? It’s another restaurant conundrum (iStockphoto).
I thought i had a flawless, and frankly quite generous, tipping policy. I tip 10 per cent of the bill — often more — if the food and service has been good, I tip less if the dining experience was just okay, and I don’t tip at all if somebody needs a kick up the clacker and a spot back in hospitality school. I mostly pay by credit card, so i add a tip to the card. Job done. Go home. Feel good about myself. However, after posing the question to readers: would you still tip if you knew restaurateurs, rather than staff, pocketed your generosity? i’m rethinking my tipping strategy. In fact, call me a tight arse, but i think my tipping days are done. Continue reading