WBEZ | pork http://www.wbez.org/tags/pork Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Should children meet their meat? http://www.wbez.org/sections/lifestyle/should-children-meet-their-meat-108872 <p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="460" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/oUqhG1fHLBQ" width="620"></iframe></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F114447731" width="100%"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr">On a recent sunny September morning, a crowd of Chicago foodies pulled up to Faith&rsquo;s Farm in Kankakee County to learn about where their meat comes from.</p><p dir="ltr">Four black hogs romped around a straw-filled trailer in the front yard snuggling, squealing and sniffing at all the newcomers to their home.</p><p dir="ltr">One of them wouldn&rsquo;t make it through the day, but she didn&rsquo;t know it. Unlike the majority of hog farms in this country, Faith&#39;s Farm smells sweet and features herds of jolly looking black hogs roaming its 30-plus acres. &nbsp;&nbsp;Although these pigs weren&rsquo;t used to hanging out in a trailer, they looked pretty relaxed, surrounded by relatives and pals from their herd. Farmer Kim Snyder said she was trying to keep their surroundings as normal as possible.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If I left her sitting on a trailer by herself, she would become stressed,&rdquo; Snyder explained.</p><p dir="ltr">This was the fifth year Snyder brought together Chicago area chefs, &nbsp;craft brewers, wine makers, and farmers for a day of learning, cooking, breaking bread&mdash; and slaughtering animals. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">It was 2008 when Snyder launched the event with farmer Harry Carr and chefs Bernie Laskowski of the Park Grill and Cleetus Friedman of the Fountainhead as co-sponsors.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/hog%20slaughter2.PNG" style="float: right; height: 215px; width: 320px;" title="Visitors to Faiths Farm, including kids, watch a humane hog slaughter. Some people believe this is important to witness while others think its wrong. (WBEZ/Monica Eng)" /></p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think it was six or seven years ago that I first did a farm dinner here on Faith&#39;s Farm,&rdquo; Friedman said. &ldquo;And after I saw the impact of how it affected people, I said we should really bring chefs down here and connect them to their food...So they could see the process and literally touch it and be a part of it.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">For me and a lot of chefs, the trip to Faith&#39;s Farm each year serves as an important reminder of what must be sacrificed for us to produce and eat the meat we love so much.</p><p dir="ltr">As the slaughter draws near a nervous pall falls over the group. Snyder prepares the visitors for what they are about to see. &nbsp;She explains that Sam, the butcher, will shoot a 22 caliber bullet into to the hog&rsquo;s brain. But it doesn&rsquo;t end there. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not going to drop and not move,&rdquo; she warned. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s going to move. We will confirm brain death by eye dilation and once Sam has confirmed brain death he will continue the process, you can ask questions and he will will show you how to skin and properly eviscerate the animal.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">As if that wasn&rsquo;t scary enough, the butcher issues yet another warning, saying &ldquo;Before we get started, if anyone is squeamish, you can&rsquo;t stand blood or the cracking of bones or if you can&rsquo;t handle guts, you might want to step away.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">A nervous silence falls over the group as Sam sharpens his knives then picks up his rifle and approaches the trailer.</p><p dir="ltr">Within moments the rifle goes off and the hog is kicking wildly on the ground. Sam grabs her leg and holds on tight to prevent injury to him and the animal, herself.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Hogs kick harder than any other animal when they die,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve seen hogs shatter their femur going down.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Once she stops kicking subsides the pigs legs are tied with chains and she&rsquo;s hoisted in the air. In one swift motion, Sam cuts the jugular and carotid arteries around her neck. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">The gathered group swallows hard as they watch the scarlet blood stream into a bucket.</p><p dir="ltr">Snyder breaks the silence by saying that she wishes all of her hogs could be processed right on her farm like this so that they could live and romp with their herd until the very last minute.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;This animal was born here and lived her life free,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;And so she felt no stress.&rdquo;</p><p><iframe align="left" frameborder="0" height="100" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F114451791" width="300"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr">The same can&rsquo;t be said for all of the visitors in attendance. Fountainhead cook Andy Spetz, stood a few feet from the action, visibly moved by the process.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve seen butchery from dead animals but this is the first time I&rsquo;ve actually seen it from the point of the killing and it&rsquo;s going to make me go back to my kitchen and really think twice about everything I&rsquo;ve been doing,&rdquo; he said.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;One of the biggest things is just thinking about where your food is coming from that that understanding that these were a live animal that somebody cared for and loved and is now sacrificing for everyone here to enjoy it. It&rsquo;s a very powerful thing.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Mark Sabbe is a sous chef at Merxat a la Plancha. This is his second year.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s really important for anyone who works in food to understand where it comes from,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;As a chef I want to understand how the animals are raised and how they are killed and what goes into breaking it down&hellip;.Once you&rsquo;ve met Kim and you&rsquo;ve been to her farm and you see the way she takes care of her animals it&rsquo;s really difficult to buy commercial [pork] again.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Edward Kim is the executive chef at Ruxbin and Mott Street. He brought members of both his kitchen and his dining room staff.</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/01.jpg" style="float: left; height: 233px; width: 350px;" title="(WBEZ/Tim Akimoff)" />&ldquo;The average person when they go the grocery store, their meat comes in a cellophane package and doesn&rsquo;t even seem like an animal,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;One of the greatest lessons I can teach my staff and cooks is to respect the food and remember that protein was a living animal. It&rsquo;s not fun to watch the harvesting of animal but it really brings it home that this was a living being and you are going to make sure that pork and chicken and try your best and make it taste as good as you can.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Over the years, I&rsquo;ve interviewed a lot of chefs at this event who felt transformed by the experience. But I&rsquo;ve also interviewed the kids&mdash;mostly city kids whose allowed them to witness the slaughter.</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-08-26/opinion/ct-talk-eng-slaughter-column-20100826_1_meat-bacon-hogs">Three years ago, I took my own seven year old daughter Miranda.</a></p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It made me feel sad and kind of grossed out because I don&rsquo;t like seeing dead stuff,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;But after it, I thought a lot more about what I&rsquo;m eating.</p><p dir="ltr">WBEZ digital editor Tim Akimoff brought his 12-year-old son Carson this year, too. Some of the aspects of the slaughter took him by surprise.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t think there would be as much blood as that,&rdquo; the 12-year-old said. &ldquo;I used to think the meat we eat came from more around the stomach, but I learned it comes from around the thighs.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">But do they think it&rsquo;s OK for parents to let their kids see it?</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If they know their kid well and they think that they are too sensitive to see it...then they shouldn&rsquo;t,&rdquo; Miranda said. &ldquo;But if they are just being overprotective...then they should let them go.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Carson agrees.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s good to see where your meat comes from because it&rsquo;s how we get our food,&rdquo; he says.</p><p dir="ltr">After the animals are quartered and moved to the freezer to chill, Snyder takes first timers on a tour of the farm where cows, chickens and hogs largely roam free.</p><p dir="ltr">Others cool off in the shade while listening to the tunes of cowboy singer Kent Rose.</p><p dir="ltr">After the tour, the chefs descend on Snyder&rsquo;s large kitchen to prep their potluck dishes, while others work to break down the carcasses. Right before sun down they load long outdoor tables with platters of grilled vegetables, rosemary rolls, farro salad with roasted squash, beet and goat cheese salads, braised goat and vanilla cake and deeply chocolately brownies.</p><p dir="ltr">By night&rsquo;s end, each will go home with a souvenir ceramic cup, several pounds of fresh pork and a some new insights on the meat they serve in their kitchens and restaurants.</p><p dir="ltr">Monica Eng is a WBEZ web producer. Follow her&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/triciabobeda">@</a>monicaeng.</p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Tue, 08 Oct 2013 16:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/lifestyle/should-children-meet-their-meat-108872 Grrls' Meat Camp teaches women fine art and craft of butchering http://www.wbez.org/series/fear-frying-culinary-nightmares/grrls-meat-camp-teaches-women-fine-art-and-craft-butchering <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Kate%20Hill%20%28L%29%2C%20Erika%20Nakamura%20%28Center%29%20and%20Kari%20Underly%20%28R%29%20size%20up%20the%20hog..JPG" title="Kate Hill, Erika Nakamura and Kari Underly size up the hog. (Photo by Nina Barrett)" /></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F65723579&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>You might remember making lanyards and mosaic trivets at camp, but at Grrls&rsquo; Meat Camp in northwest suburban Volo, Ill., the Saturday morning activity was Whole Carcass Utilization.</p><div><br />The carcass in question was a 205-pound hog who began the morning stretched out on its back on a picnic table. It had already been emptied of guts, so the first order of business was to saw off its legs, as well as its most distinctively piggy part.<br /><br />&ldquo;What are we gonna do with the head?&rdquo; asked Chicago butcher Kari Underly. &ldquo;Does anybody have some things they want to do with the head? I know you mentioned some head bacon?&rdquo;<br /><br />It&rsquo;s not often that women who work with meat get to, well, meet up. Female butchers are few and far between. And if you want to become one, you have to carve out your own opportunities.<br /><br /><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Pig%20head%2C%20with%20butchers..JPG" style="float: left; width: 385px; margin: 5px; height: 288px; " title="(Photo by Nina Barrett)" />That&rsquo;s why 16 far-flung women packed up their knives, their cleavers, their sausage casings, and a number of lovingly cured prosciuttos and salamis for Meat Camp.<br /><br />For most of the morning, the severed pig&rsquo;s head continued to sit on the picnic table, appearing to watch the campers as they went about turning the rest of the carcass into products you might feel more a little more enthusiastic about finding in your local market.<br /><br />Kate Hill stood at another picnic table literally up to her elbows in pork that had already been put through the meat grinder, and asked someone, &ldquo;Could you pull up my sleeve?&rdquo;<br /><br />She was gently squishing it up the way you do when you make meatloaf, except she was making paté. Hill teaches charcuterie at her house in the south of France, including visits to local farms to see how the meat she works with was raised. &nbsp;<br /><br />Meat Camp was her idea: &ldquo;To get together, to share experiences and learn, and you can see there&rsquo;s a spirit of sharing and showing and telling what you do and how you do it, and that&rsquo;s the premise of it,&rdquo; Hill said. &ldquo;I wanted to keep it fun and light, and that&rsquo;s why I called it Grrrls Meat Camp, instead of something serious, like A Conference about Women and Meat.&rdquo;<br /><br /><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Kate%20Hill%20makes%20pate.JPG" style="height: 375px; width: 280px; margin: 5px; float: left; " title="Kate Hill makes pate. (Photo by Nina Barrett)" />It IS fun and light. But it&rsquo;s also a unique educational opportunity if you happen to enjoy poking around inside a dead animal with a knife. Over at another picnic table, Chicago butcher Kari Underly helped one camper identify and remove the pig&rsquo;s eye of round.<br /><br /><strong>UNDERLY:</strong>&nbsp;So we&rsquo;re gonna grab the knife, and it&rsquo;s gonna start here, so let&rsquo;s release right there.&nbsp;So what are you feeling right now when you&rsquo;re doing this?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>CAMPER:</strong> It&rsquo;s like, yeah, you can tell where it wants to release a little bit, and that&rsquo;s normal?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>UNDERLY:</strong> It&rsquo;s okay today</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>(THEY BOTH LAUGH)<br /><br />Underly, who helped organize Meat Camp, is something of a rockstar among American butchers. She&rsquo;s most famous in meat circles for winning an online video contest called &ldquo;Who&rsquo;s Your Butcher?&rdquo; and for her recent James Beard Award-nominated book, The Art of Beef Cutting.<br /><br />Both her grandfather and father were butchers who practiced an artisanal craft that&rsquo;s been nearly wiped out by the industrialization of meat. Her father&rsquo;s shop got put out of business by competition from big-box retailers.<br /><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div>&ldquo;I saw what it was like when my dad came home from work after hanging beef changed to box beef and how it changed something within his soul,&rdquo; Underly said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s like, I wanna bring THAT back to the community. At the core of my heart is training and education, and I have a dream, and I&rsquo;m working on a business plan opening up a school to bring the trade back &hellip; teach them the economics, teach them what to do with the fat, with the jowls, so we&#39;re not going to waste, and they can go back in other environments and build businesses.&quot;<br /><br />There were other lessons these women were learning from that hog carcass, as it went piece by piece into sausage casings and the smoker and the paté molds.<br /><br />For Lilly Baker, who used to work on a goat farm before moving to Chicago, breaking down the pig was one more step in the evolution of her thinking about meat-eating.<br /><br />&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been vegetarian in the past,&rdquo; Baker said. &ldquo;And after being around domestic animals, and participating in the slaughter, and now the breakdown, and seeing how that animal really turns into a finished food product, I definitely have a lot more respect for that myself. And I&rsquo;m more comfortable eating meat that I know has been respected at all points in the process, from when it was born to when it ended up on my table, and maybe less comfortable eating meat that wasn&rsquo;t treated in that manner.&rdquo;<br /><br />And for Rachel Miller, the sous-chef at a super-hip restaurant in Cambridge, Mass., called Bondir, the lesson was about something else. She relished the all-chick vibe.<br /><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Meat%20Camp%20charcuterie%20board.JPG" style="float: right; height: 300px; width: 400px; " title="" /></div><strong>&quot;</strong>I love it,&quot; Miller said. &quot;It&rsquo;s a lot more comfortable. I hate to end up sounding sexist on the other end of it, but, it IS a man&rsquo;s world, in the butchering and the cooking. It&rsquo;s been hard enough findin&rsquo; short-order cooking jobs as a girl. That&rsquo;s what I really love about the energy here, is that it&rsquo;s not domineering, it&rsquo;s not a pissing contest, which gets really old.&quot;<br /><br />What Miller was learning at Meat Camp had everything to do with the sustainability of the butcher &mdash;especially the female butcher.<br /><br />&ldquo;Butchering is not about being strong, about carrying 150 pounds,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s about being smart. It&rsquo;s about knowing where to cut to save yourself the energy. And if you put your knife in the right spot, you can yield the same amount of meat, you can make the same amount of money as any big burly dude.&quot;</div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 01 Nov 2012 13:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/fear-frying-culinary-nightmares/grrls-meat-camp-teaches-women-fine-art-and-craft-butchering 2011 Food & Wine Classic at Aspen recap http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-06-20/2011-food-wine-classic-aspen-recap-88039 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-June/2011-06-20/pork stuff_WBEZ_Dolinsky.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe frameborder="0" height="451" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/25331373?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;color=c40215" width="501"></iframe></p><p>Aspen, CO - For the 29th year, <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/">Food &amp; Wine Magazine</a> held its summer camp for the food elite in the Rocky Mountains this past weekend. The event brings together tastemakers, chefs and a ton of wine and spirits producers, but it also serves as a launching pad for the July issue, which features 11 of what the magazine deems the "best new chefs" in the country. This year, Chicago's Stephanie Izard (<a href="http://www.girlandthegoat.com/">Girl &amp; The Goat</a>) was one of them, and I spoke to her about the event while she prepared to serve 1,000 VIP guests at the luxe Aspen Meadows complex here. She's in supremely good company. Past Chicago winners have included Takashi Yagihashi, Grant Achatz, Paul Kahan and Bruce Sherman. The event also features a lot of seminars for consumers, mostly on wine pairing and cooking demos, but another aspect of the weekend includes the American Express <a href="http://restaurantbriefing.com/">Restaurant Trade Program</a>, for which I serve as a moderator on a number of panels, featuring the industry leaders in front of, and behind the stove.</p><p>On Sunday, after a lot of the consumers had gone home, the <a href="http://www.cochon555.com/">Cochon 555</a> event held its national finals competition here at the Hotel Jerome. Again, I got to serve as one of the judges, which meant trying out 10 different chefs' interpretations of 10 different heritage breed pigs; each chef offered us three different tastes. It was a magnificent pork-a-palooza to wrap-up a star-studded, food-and-wine-filled weekend.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" height="669" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-20/IMG_7486.jpg" title="" width="500"></p></p> Mon, 20 Jun 2011 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-06-20/2011-food-wine-classic-aspen-recap-88039