America's Relationship with Meat

The Four Top


We are going to discuss discuss America's relationship with meat. What does it actually like to slaughter an animal? And how do you define the term grass-fed and we also explore are the double. Aarp of the food world otherwise known as mature beef but first. Let's meet our panelists. Lynn Curry author of the book. Pure beef if you just flew in from ranch country. Welcome thanks gathering and John Shabelle is a butcher and owner at pasture pediatrics. X A whole animal butchery. Welcome thank you. And Chemist Davis is founder of the Portland meet collective and the Good Meat Project and author of the Book Book Killing it. Welcome thanks all right. Well let's dig in and just get right into the blood and Gore. We'll start with that Most Americans eat meat every day without ever having seen where it comes from. Chemist Davis the title of. Your book is killing it so I wanted to ask you. Have you ever slaughtered slaughtered in animal or witnessed the slaughter of animal. And what is that like I've done both and it's interesting that you use the word Gore because us. I think that a lot of us who haven't witnessed slaughter assume that that's exactly what it is. I would say watching Coyote etta eat a cow always probably way more gory than most of the slaughter that I've witnessed or taken part in which is not to say that there's a lot of methods of slaughter that are not great and and Ken Go terribly wrong and do involve Gore but in my experience witnessing what we now call humane slaughter. It's fast. It's efficient a lot of people like to say the animal has one bed bad day. I wouldn't say it's a bad day. It's more like a bad second or for two it's peaceful and For me there's been a real sense of reverence that surprises me almost every the time that I take part in the slaughter or even witnesses slaughter or whether it's at a slaughterhouse or on a farm or in a backyard and I think in some ways that references references maybe what we're afraid of because it's complex it's It's not a easy easy reduced. Black or white feeling. Yeah you have when you take part. In the slaughter actually feel like you're part of something elemental and important And you kind of you re realize is or you realize for the first time that you really can't have life without death death as part of our everyday experience in many ways we've just chosen to I do not think about it or not. See it well. Can you walk us through that kind of the logistical steps of house ladder. Might look it. It really depends on. WHO's doing it and how they're choosing to do it? Of course so there's not any one way that everyone's doing it But on a basic level If it's being done well and inhumane way your Attempting to stunned the animals so that it's rendered senseless to pain that happens with different in different ways a A captive bolt gun did If you're slaughtering a chicken perhaps in your backyard scrambling it's brain in by poking a knife through. Its top pallet. There are other ways to do it and then once that has occurred then bleeding the animal And doing that very quickly. So the idea there is that you're trying to avoid The animals are being being awake. and feeling that that bleeding occur so whereas you know a lion attacking a deer for instance or antelope is is not going to render. It senseless to pain in this case which were choosing using to do that to make sure that the experiences quicken and painless and why do you bleed the animal. I well we bleed for a lot of reasons but mostly it's To prevent spoilage As well as to prevent Terrible flavor as well I don't know if John may have some ideas about that to you. But essentially by the time you get You're buying meat from grocery store. There is no there is no blood per se in that meter on that meet. There may be some but my globe in like an animal won't go into Rigor Mortis unless you bleed it Robert leg. It won't actually sees properly and you want it to seize them. Yeah Yeah especially with beef. I mean because that I five days where it's hanging and going through. The Rigor Mortis when the enzyme start to actually act and the meat as aging. That will happen if there's still blood in the body Lynn. Have you been part of a slaughter witnessed this latter absolutely since you mentioned. I live in an agricultural region in eastern Oregon again so I arrived as a vegetarian from Seattle and was very quickly introduced to on farm life which has cannons mentioned involves death death Older animals animals that are not serving a function on the farm anymore. And in fact my first slaughter involved Allama from Allama Packer acker and that was pretty interesting and the meat was delicious. It did not taste like chicken. I've been involved in chickens and ducks risk cattle. Sheep Goat. Pretty much you know the the full Livestock Ensemble Sombor and one of the things that always occurs. It's incredibly well planned out. So everyone knows what their role is. The person who is either going to do the stunning or the killing has that specific role in everyone else's they're in support of that and the primary goal will is to prevent stress on the animal. And there's several reasons certainly an animal welfare. You want them to not have any idea of what's coming But the other element is is that the meat is going to be better if there's no stress and so lack of stress it's very calm planned experience for everyone. It sounds it's like it's something that everyone should witness or be a part of if they're gonNA eat meat. Yeah there are some people who maybe shouldn't witness it. I mean I. You know a lot of my book is really exploring being The the stories that we in the modern world have told ourselves about what it means to kill animals for food and what death means in general And I think one reason that we should witness slaughter if that's where a process that gets us food on our table is to dispel a lot of those narratives narratives and a lot of those stories that we tell ourselves that really have their roots in horror movies Honestly I mean they don't. It's not based in reality and actually is a lot a lot of the stories that we tell ourselves about what it takes to get turn an animal into food makes the sound almost mentally. Ill sometimes like it is not based in reality which is not to say that there are terrible ways that we have killed animals for food in the past one hundred hundred years? I mean that is true But it doesn't mean that that is the only way out there and you studied apprentice at a farm in France where the techniques different there than they are over here. I mean they were certainly different than what you might see an a huge processing facility here in America They weren't in the sense that almost all the meat that we eat no matter where it comes from an America is from a hole where we use the whole animal quite well. I'm we're quite efficient using the whole animal. I'm on this butcher was also using the whole animal. It's just that this butcher was using it. Only for food as opposed to other other products But they really were. It was a family that was Able to deal with the cutting themselves and they were also Selling all of the meat from Tanna ten animals a week to four outdoor markets and they sold out of everything which was truly astounding to me. I mean most of the butcher shops that I know of an America. Small butcher shops are really struggled to to sell the whole animal because we don't have a consumer base that wants to eat the whole animal They also were their products. Were quite different. They were quite a bit more focused on. I'm sure coutry and cured aged Meats fermented meats and they were using much older animals so they cut it differently because of the products that they were able to cell whereas here butcher Might only be cutting for fresh cuts. They might only be cutting You know a third of the animal for fresh cuts in the rest. They might grind to go into burgers or hotdogs or sausages so it was a much more meticulous and detailed form of buttery. John Do you think that's changing changing. Do you think people are more open minded in terms of I mean some of US especially those of us who grew up hunting lake where he used to that a little bit like. There's certain like I remember. We were like Oh dear heart. That's that's that's one of those things that you wanted to eat right off the bat kind of or if we'd even eat deliver if it was like a younger animal but No because I mean if you go to a supermarket you're not gonNa see any awful and I think that's I mean they're not going to sell what people want to buy in like so they're selling chicken breasts wrestling strips and stuff like that ground beef and so I guess that saying that. Also the general public doesn't doesn't mean they don't even know what awful looks like most of the time

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