Everything but the Oink!

27th February 2015

I’m a confirmed and convicted omnivore – which means that I’ll just about eat anything you put in front of me. I know a lot of vegetarians and vegans and I totally respect them for their views on food. If you’ve looked at all the hard evidence and decided that not eating meat is best for you (or even if you’re just put off from eating dead animals) that’s fine and dandy with me. Undoubtedly, the world eats far too much meat. The idea of chopping down the rainforests just so they can farm beef cattle for the American market is just plainly absurd. I’ve read lots and lots on this issue and don’t want to bore you with it now.

If, like me, you eat dead animals, you have a responsibility. You have a responsibility to eat as much of an animal as you can. They used to say that the only thing you can’t eat on a pig is its oink! Many years ago, when we lived on the Isle of Man, we bought a big freezer and filled it up with a quarter of a cow and half a pig. We got meat we could fry, stew and roast, as well as sausages and mince. The meat was local. It hadn’t travelled far from the field to our freezer. It tasted wonderful and lasted us for many, many months.

The horsemeat scandal of the other year showed us all how the meat industry got itself into a mess. Carcases were being shipped around Europe willy-nilly and getting more air-miles than I have had in my whole life. If you buy meat in a processed meal, you simply have no idea how it got there (and, in some cases, what kind of meat it is).

That’s why we need good, local butchers who know where their meat comes from and who really care about their craft. When money is tight, why not reduce the amount of meat you eat and make sure it’s great quality? Your butcher will advise you on the cheaper cuts that will not only taste good but be cost effective too.

Now to think what to do about that oink…

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