Thursday, February 28, 2013

Where's your food coming from, anyway?

So with all the shenanigans across the pond going on around horse meat, it's hard not to wonder about my own limits when it comes to how far afield I'll go to try new food. To me, the bigger issue about what's going on in Europe is highly-processed, commodity food: large-scale food producers are always going to have the profits foremost in their corporate minds, and that means they're going to chase the cheapest ingredients possible. Once a business starts moving down that path, it's a really slippery slope to unwholesome, unhealthy ingredients that rely on increasing amounts of technology to maximize return. Thus we end up with things like mechanically separated meat.

Then again, there are plenty of places where eating horse meat is common, just like there are plenty of places where eating insects or chitterlings or, yes, dog meat is common. So much of what we do and don't think is acceptable to eat is based on arbitrary cultural strictures that don't have any basis in nutrition or biology. I know for sure (I've considered it more than you might think) that I wouldn't eat dog meat. I'm a dog guy to the core, so I don't think I'd ever be able to get past an intrinsic revulsion to eating them as meat. But...why not horse meat? Horses and cows aren't THAT different, when you get right down to it. And I definitely love me some beef, so I think it's actually pretty likely that I'd give horse meat a shot--assuming that I knew ahead of time what it was I was being offered. Word is it's a little gamy, so I'm thinking something like an almond crust and a strong red wine and dijon reduction--which is a great preparation for venison tenderloin, incidentally.

But really, the larger issue to me is that the consumers in Europe were lied to by companies that were more interested in making money than in making a high-quality, well-crafted product. If you keep chasing down the cheapest possible ingredients, you're intrinsically going to sacrifice quality and ultimately you're going to be offering your customers, unknown to them, something that is far, far removed from what it is that they were expecting. And it's hard to miss the fact that we're talking about some enormous, multi-national companies that got busted in all of this. There were so many degrees of separation between where the ingredients were coming from and what actually ended up on store shelves that it seems inevitable that something was going to go horribly wrong. 

Which is why you should come hang out with us more. We know our cows' names. We know who's caring for them (Hi Mark!) and how invested he is in providing the best possible product possible. Because WE'RE invested in making the best product possible--for you. YOU! We're here to make for you the world's best gelato. We work hard at it, and we don't cut corners. 

So the weather's starting to turn, I think. Saw a little slant of sunlight today that made me think, "...August? August is a real thing, right?" Which does mean that our winter flavors are going to start slipping away, so you'd better come get your blood orange sorbetto this weekend. We'll be here! Thinking about our cows. 

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