Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Via Down to Earth, this post on a project for organic, humane veal shows some of the problems of these efforts in mass society:
So, ironically, even though the chefs love the flavor and the Azuluna story and that the flavor and texture is excellent regardless of the size, many of them will stop buying it or complain to the distributor that it lacks consistency in size. This is a problem for the high end cuts only - as the chefs are fearful of serving chops of differing sizes and charging the same price. The solution to this problem is to get more producers raising the veal and to expand the market into NYC. This would balance out the size problem, as cuts could be grouped by the distributors according to size. However, in order to recruit more producers, I need to promise them a market.
So, we consumers want consistency--no surprises, please. But that implies production practices and a scale of operation that's difficult to develop. In a way, we want what we had years and years ago, but destroyed because our preferences valued consistency, uniformity, etc.

(This subject rings a small bell for me--we sold our bull calves at about a week or 10 days. The old quip goes that the dairy is the most feminist place around.)

1 comment:

Sara said...

Bill: You put your finger on a critical point in expanding alternative production practices.

I think part of consumers' unwillingness to accept variation is that we've become so removed from our food supply that we forget (unprocessed) food is a product of nature, not mechanics