An interesting exploration of the growing demand for meat in New York City
New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni and Anthony Bourdain. As an on- and off-again meat eater, Foer has publically made his decision to step into non-meat land and now is synonymous with whining about Bourdain to New Yorkmagazine for the No Reservations host’s admittance on Larry King Live that he thinks humans are supposed to eat animals. We wonder how he’ll respond to the recent Times story about the new “Caveman lifestyle,” described as “a small New York subculture whose members seek good health through a selective return to the habits of their Paleolithic ancestors.” One die-hard member purportedly indulges in “grass-fed ground beef, which he eats raw.”
I hope Bourdain will recognize us as kin rather than as "dieters." I hate that word because it implies a limitation. The limitation for me is I simply try to avoid eating foods that make me feel crappy and I always make exceptions if I feel something is awesome and uniquely delicious. Which is actually OK, because most of the body-damaging crap people shovel in their mouths isn't.
If anything, eating like this has awakened me to the wonders of delicious silky blood, insects, liver on a stick, and reindeer hearts. Bourdain probably doesn't think of himself as a diet guru, but his writing and shows have inspired many reluctant people to order foods like tripe.
My father is on the paleo diet (50 lbs lost and counting, though that's another story) and Les Halles, Bourdain's restaurant, is a favorite of ours.
Also mentioned is the Meat Hook, which is a veritable temple of meat in Brooklyn, the epicenter of the nose to tail locavore meat movement. Meat is big enough in Brooklyn that cuts previously had for pennies, like marrow bones, are inching up in price by the day.
Surprisingly, the people who are now going back to eating meat are more than willing to delve into the nasty bits of meat production. Sold out workshops involving the snapping the necks of rabbits and gutting them? Who would have thought. This is a good thing because people who are knowledgeable about the slaughter process are more demanding about how animals lived and how they died. I don't know how much of this has to do with the locavore movement and how much has to do with the fact that many vegetarian foods make people feel crappy.
Fun at the slaughter house
And the Humane Society's argument that even animals at nice farms have miserable lives is unconvincing to the growing number of young urbanites who work a stint on a farm in the summer.
I do feel bad for vegetarian restaurants though. There are plenty of people that aren't comfortable with meat, and I understand that. I always was the girl who had no problem with dissecting worms, so I know I'm a little bit of an outlier. Many of my friends and family members are vegetarian and vegan, so the reality is that a visit to some of these restaurants is in my future. There are some I look forward to going to, like Souen or Pure Food & Wine, but most of them are crappy food excused by sparing cute animals. It doesn't have to be this way. I love Pure Food & Wine's fruit and nut based dishes and Souen's emphasis on seaweed and pumpkin. At each place it's possible to get a meal free of bloaty soy, fried industro-oils, and crampy wheat. Vegans and paleo dieters can dine together, restaurants just have to be more innovative and not just serve fried soy and gluten blobs.