Some more, please: This little piggy...

2010-12-02 07:02

It’s time to talk about the pig.

I have a chef friend. One day he called and said, in his thick Israeli accent: “I have a little piggy.”

So I was forced on Saturday afternoon to face my food hypocrisy. He arrived with a whole piglet – he salted it and rubbed it with herbs, and popped it in the oven whole for about three hours.

As it started to cook, it smelled heavenly. But still all of us were trying to come to terms with the fact that lunch had a face.
In a classic example of transference, I said: “The toddler will be traumatised by the fact that it still has a face.” I couldn’t have been more wrong.

When it came time to unveil the perfectly roasted pig, we each gingerly took our share, hankering after those wonderful cellophane-wrapped portions of pork that can’t be identified as part of a real animal that you get on the supermarket shelves.

The toddler, meanwhile, reached across her own plate, which had three or four morsels of meat on it, and grasped the pig’s shoulder that was on my plate.

With appreciative sounds and the odd “yum, yum”, she tucked in. She chewed, munched and even gnawed on the gristle and, eventually, in the interests of child safety, we had to take the bone away.

So while all of us were trying to come to terms with the fact that if we had to kill our own pigs we’d never eat bacon again and that we’d have a lot of pet chickens if Woolies didn’t stock thighs and legs, the toddler was reminding us of our primal beings.

The lesson of the poor little piglet is this: we all have got unhealthily removed from our food sources.

If we are going to save the planet we live on, we need to face up to all the implications of where our food comes from

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