Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Omnivore's Dilemma book discussion - Section III (chapters 18-20)

Omnivore's DilemmaThis is it! The final installment of The Omnivore's Dilemma book club.

Chapter 18: Hunting - The Meat I found it interesting the description that Michael Pollan gave of the adrenaline rush of hunting an animal. Having never hunted before I can't quite relate. I think the closest I can get to it is fond memories of playing hide and seek, where your senses are heightened and the anticipation is unbearable. Do you believe that humans still hold an evolutionary throwback to this hunting physiology? If you have hunted before, have you experienced this as well?

The motherlodeChapter 19: Gathering - The Fungi I live in the land of the fungi, yet few people I know are proficient in hunting mushrooms. It's something that we have wanted to do for a while, but just never got around to it. The closest I've gotten to mushroom hunting was when I was wrapping our Dogwood with Christmas tree lights last December and spied this giant fella. I still, to this day, don't really know what the heck it is. Anyone have any ideas? And, no, I didn't eat it. Although it smelled wonderful and I was tempted.

Chapter 20: The Perfect Meal In the spirit of Local Food Month, I'd like to propose a meal similar to the one Michael Pollan enjoyed in this final chapter. The rules are a little looser than his, but the concept is the same - get to know intimately where all the food comes from that makes up one meal. Think of it as an ├╝ber-local meal.

Here are the rules for "The Perfect Meal":

1. Everything on the menu must have been hunted/fished, gathered (including U-Pick), or grown by you
2. Everything must be made from scratch (this includes pasta, bread, etc.)
3. The menu should feature at least one representative of each edible kingdom: animal (vegetarians can skip this one), vegetable and fungus (only if still available and, since I don't want to kill anyone, just use local mushrooms)
4. Everything served must be in season and fresh
5. You have to cook the meal yourself
6. You have to invite at least a few guests to share this meal with you, preferably those that have helped you in acquiring the foods

You have a couple weeks to plan and work on this one. I'll have you post pictures and a report of this "Perfect Meal" by August 20th. I'll do a follow-up post in the intervening time.


Also, just as a head's up, I will doing a book giveaway of my relatively pristine hardbound copy of The Omnivore's Dilemma. So, if you don't already own a copy and would like one, stay tuned for this Friday (7/27) when I commence the giveaway.


Frisky said...

cool! i've been having so much fun with local food month that i'd been thinking about having friends over for a local food feast sometime soon. maybe when my tomatoes ripen.

Greenpa said...

Just a quickie on hunting. I never hunted as a kid; no opportunities or desire or tradition. Moved to our farm at age 28 I think- as a fully trained scientist - with lots of training in ethology and psychology. I started to hunt because -a) we needed food, and had no money; b) we're drowning in deer, who kill our crops- and squirrels.

So- I was carefully observing myself, and not an amateur observer. My own experiences strongly paralleled Pollan's. It's a VERY powerful experience; clearly primal. I DO think there are probably differences between men and women in how it hits us (on average). If you're mindful, it never stops being a series of strongly conflicting emotions. But- powerful, on a very deep level.

People write whole books on the experience, of course- and have as long as there have been books. Seems to be a topic that keeps our interest!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, it might take me the whole two weeks to work out the perfect emal. Mostly because i wouldn't have the foggiest how to make bread out of local products. Like the yeast, can one get local yeast? I guess I could make cornbread? Oh, I have an idea now!

Rising Rainbow said...

My uncle used to hunt mushrooms and sell them to upscale restuarants. He made a lot of money doing that but didn't ever share his expertise with anyone. So I haven't a clue what is what.

Anonymous said...

I once went foraging for mushrooms. Where my husband is from, children learn at school how to spot edible mushrooms. We also got books from the library and read up. In the end, we found some nice oyster mushrooms and made a tasty omelette. (Though I can't say that I didn't eat it with at least a bit of trepidation.)

Isle Dance said...

Hunting is similar to what you're thinking. Some hunters give thanks to the animal. Some hunters do not see the animal as a being and are quite happy to snuff it out. Some hunters are competing for an ego rush and future stories. I have to credit Local Food Month as a helpful motivator for me to get serious about healthier sources of veggie protein. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

And some hunters legitimately hunt simply to feed their families.

Anonymous said...

activist mommy - you wouldn't necessarily have to make a yeast bread. You could make a savory stir and pour bread or you could get a sour dough starter from a friend as an alternative to yeast.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little unclear on the concept. Forget about the yeast, if everything must have been hunted, gathered, or grown by us, how could we make pasta or bread without growing our own wheat and grinding our own flour? What counts as "gathering?"

Unknown said...

You mentioned in another post that you don't hunt or fish so you didn't know what to do about meat- gathering clams, muscles, oysters, crabs, shrimp (off docks where there is a lot of water flow) is both sustainable and really easy, though I believe you might need a fishing license to do so legally.

However, it is red tide season as far as I am aware down here in Seattle (I'm vegetarian so I don't really keep close track, I fish and crab up further north though), so it might not be a good idea to be eating ANY local shellfish of any sort until Oct or so.