Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Culinary Cruelty.

Read with interest on Monday, an article about treatment of animals for culinary delights. Being a self confessed "meat" eater, I admit some of the stories being highlighted were kinda "disturbing".
a) Foie Gras i.e. goose liver. Or used to be goose liver until lately when it is now generally duck liver instead. Considered French gourmet food, it is made by "force-feeding corn-based meal to farmed ducks and geese over a few months so that their livers swell with fat." I tasted foie gras only once, being so expensive but more importantly, I hated the taste...
b) Shark Fin. OK, this one I know. Sharks are "harvested" for their fins, for Chinese culinary delight, shark fin soup, while still alive and then dumped back to the sea to die. I still eats shark fin soup...the fin its self is tasteless, like I mentioned before, like a card board. Maybe one day they would be able to forgo the fin and replace it with something else instead.
c) Frog Legs. New knowledge. It stated, "Sometimes the frog is skinned before its legs are chopped off. Witnesses say that they can actually hear the frogs shrieking as they are butchered, and many of the amphibians are still alive long after their legs have been removed." Might be true, as with the practise of cooking a fish, the dishes are usually still "alive" before putting into the frying pan in order to preserve "freshness". What really turns me off are not these, but from what an uncle shared with me when he happened to be at his friends frog farm where he witnessed these frogs are actually mired in their own mucks and whats not, in order to breed the maggots which they feeds on....This is one of my favourite dishes, particularly when stir fry over ginger or as porridge.
d) Wagyu Beef. New knowledge. It says, Australian cattle rancher David Blackmore, one of the few Westerners to have visited Japanese farms several times, told Gourmet magazine in a 2007 article: “They (the cattle) get bored and go off their feed. Their gut stops working. The best way to start their gut working again is to give them a bottle of beer. “The steers have been lying in their own manure. ... Wagyu can also get a lot of joint swelling. I can imagine that the farmers would be massaging joints so they could get the animals off to market.” Oh darn, I love wagyu beef steaks...
e) Large Eggs. The article said, "Even choosing large eggs is considered cruel. The British Free Range Producers Association told the British press early this year that it was painful for hens to lay larger eggs. The association recommended that consumers buy medium eggs instead, adding that they also taste better and are less “watery” than larger ones. Speaking of eggs, spare a thought for the egg-laying chicken in intensive farming. It spends its whole adult life with four other hens in a battery cage whose floor is the size of this open newspaper." Ok, sticking to ayam kampung eggs...if they were more easily available.
f) Eating babies. It states, "Both veal and suckling pig are meats from baby animals. In battery farming, the calves are confined to crates, usually measuring 60cm wide, in which they cannot turn around, stretch their limbs or even lie down comfortably. They are fed with watery powdered milk to deliberately induce borderline anaemia and thus, tender white meat." And I just had a nice, sucking pig for dinner during Dad's birthday...
Nice to have such article highlighted. Now I can make informed choice when it comes to food...but sometimes, temptation, especially of culinary nature, is abit hard to resist.

No comments: