Moose meat

You know that new-ish comedy “Last Man Standing’ with Tim Allen? He used to be the tool man…now instead of 3 boys he’s got 3 girls and a grandson. Anyway, he hunts and is the owner or co-owner or something of an outdoor/hunting store. He co-owns it with this guy who used to be a doctor on Chicago Hope.

I live with a hunter. He’s not like Tim Allen, nor does he own a hunting store, although perhaps that might be something he could, potentially, be interested in…

Anyway, my guy took up hunting a few years ago and his emphasis has been mostly on deer. There are deer aplenty all over the place and they are multiplying in mass numbers, so hunting deer has been a passion without guilt, so to speak.

But then one day late last year he was asked if he’d like to join a group who was heading north and spending the night to moose hunt. Apparently moose meat is great! Continue reading

Healthy eating with meat

The problem with the Paleo diet is that we are in endless need of meat.

He’s the one on the diet, but since I have to feed him AND us, I may as well cook accordingly…

Sure we have a freezer full of venison, some of which I do eat even though I’m not crazy for venison in general, but really I can only eat so many beef/pork/venison burgers or meatballs before getting bored (or sick of it).

We used to have a butcher. He died. We no longer have chicken from the Mennonite farm he used to get it from, nor eggs. We no longer have his awesome sausages. We have to shop for meat at other stores that serve organic, or at least pasture-fed, humanely raised meat-animals.

Beretta Organic Farms sells at Wholefoods and at Loblaws, even. So that’s one option, but that means get in the car and drive a distance. I’m a local kinda gal. I prefer doing my shopping close to home, if possible. So I either make the trip once or twice a month and spend a small fortune to fill the freezer, or I order via mom who passes Wholefoods on her way to visit us once a week.

Once upon a time we knew a guy whose parents had a hobby farm. They sold us a half a cow and we were happy! They also had a few chickens, eggs and a bunch of yummy squashes…but that freezer full of various cuts of beef was heavenly. So easy to plan meals! I will have to make the effort to find someone who sells us half a cow again.

While trying to accommodate his paleo needs, I have found that eating less grain in general (even though most of our grain is whole grain) has helped me in terms of battling mid-afternoon fatigue. But to say it’s challenging to cook this way in winter when most of the fruit and veg is imported, greenhoused, and mediocre at best in terms of taste, is pretty much an understatement.

Which brings us to the fantastic weather we’ve been having over the past few weeks. WARM, sunny, and if I stick my finger in the soil of my garden beds, I can feel it move. The soil! It moves! This normally doesn’t happen until May in these parts. Usually the soil is cold and clumpy, frozen even.

So the itch to sow a few seeds that can handle frost has taken me over. I’m thinking arugula, which can be eaten both raw in salads or cooked. The parsley and chives are poking through already too, and are ready for snipping to add to salads and sandwiches. Or on top of eggs.

In the meantime, I dug out a package of chicken and two turkey legs out of the freezer. The turkey legs are bigger so I put them in the crockpot with some orange slices, and the chicken will be defrosted in time to bbq later. Dinner for tonight is covered.

Don’t ask me what to make tomorrow.

Vegetarian challenge

note: the original post which was published on Wed April 23 has forever disappeared into cyberspace. The first comment, by Dan White, followed the post into oblivion. (Thank you Dan for your words of encouragement.) So here is another attempt at reciting my lost post from memory.

Yesterday, as I was chopping bacon for my baked bean dish, I considered becoming a vegetarian for a few days. I actually don’t have any intentions of becoming a permanent vegetarian, mainly because I enjoy a variety of food, including meat. My family’s focus is to eat whole foods, local, and organic when possible. We also strive to purchase our meat from a local butcher who obtains his meat from trusted sources where animals are humanely treated, grass and pasture fed, and free range in the true sense of the word.

Great reads that enforce, explain and detail this type of food choice can be read by authors like Michael Pollan here and here, and by Barbara Kingsolver here

I have a variety of reasons for wanting to challenge myself to go meatless for a few days. This idea however has to take place when DH is out of town, aptly happening this coming Sunday for several days. Although he, and the rest of the family, like vegetables of all kinds, he meets my suggestions to forgo meat for a few days with an eyeroll.

So  Sunday I begin my challenge. Here are my reasons why:

Continue reading

Little butcher shops are going out of business…

…because of ridiculous provincial inspection demands. You can read one example here.

We use a butcher for our meat. He gets his meat from places like the Mennonites, and his cows are pasture fed without additives, hormones or any other such nonsense. His own son is a vet who tends to these animals.

He’s been in business for something like 50 years, most of those years here in Toronto. People come in from as far away as Detroit and Buffalo to buy his meats, sausages, cabbage rolls and other delights. Gary Roberts, the ex-Maple Leaf hockey player, bought the only meat he eats, buffalo, from him.

And now? He has to make costly upgrades and changes that might serve a factory better than a small, almost 80-year old proprietor.  Upgrades and changes that will cost him more than he’s willing to, or can even affort to comply with.

And, he may have to stop making his own sausages. Like the butchers in the article above.

This is happening at the same time that the Ontario Provinical Liberals are worried about obesity in children. If we lose the butcher shops now that organic meat has become more important to the average Canadian than ever before, are we forced to go back to the feedlot-fed cattle who end up in e-coli infested factories for our meats?

What exaclty are these inspectors trying to accomplish? I would bet many of the small business, mom-and-pop shops in and around the GTA, have seldomly, or never, experienced any food-related issues causing sickness, or death. You only hear about this stuff from the larger factories. Wasn’t it just recently a Dominion grocery store in Etobicoke had to close down due to a mouse infestation or something like that?

Apparently, according to the government in the above article, the new rules “reduce risk”. Yet, the butchers themselves cannot recall an incident of sickness due to their product, so how much further can these legislations reduce a risk that is minimal, or non-existant to begin with?

Making home-made food for sale in small store-front businesses that dot the neighbourhood landscape is what Toronto is all about. But slowly, these businesses are forced to close down. Their pride in their foodstuffs, often made with local ingredients, and from recipes passed down from several generations, can no longer exist.

Instead, the province wants to encourage, even enforce, McFood.