Take the Time to Respect the Food You Cook

I have spoken before about eating locally and eating seasonally but there is another step between the forest/field/and water before food hits the table.

Yesterday, while I was cooking a beautiful 10 pound roast that cost about $130, I was reminded of a book that I read recently called Beaten, Seared, and Sauced: On Becoming a Chef at the Culinary Institute of America. My job entails preparing meals according to user-generated recipes for tutorial videos. We needed to get a camera shot of the meat thermometer at the “proper” temperature (most people overcook their meat, and (unfortunately) we had to capture the temperature according to the recipe guidelines). We were having trouble so we cranked up the oven to speed along the process. I was finally able to get the thermometer to read 145 by sticking it in the very top of the meat where the temperature is hottest. There were grumbles that this beautiful piece of meat would be over cooked by now and what a waste that would be.

I was reminded of that book because Jonathan Dixon spoke about a duck he ate that had “died in vain” because it was cooked so poorly. I think that it is so important to keep in mind that everything we eat was somehow harvested and taken from the earth. We all need to start learning about our food: where it comes from, how it was harvested, how it cooks, and why it cooks that way. We should respect our food and give it the treatment it deserves.

I think that hunting is the perfect way to encourage respect for animals and for food. People who hunt understand the process of life from beginning to end, and understand how to use the various cuts of meat properly and what goes well with them. If more “at home cooks” spent more time understanding the wilderness and gaining a respect for the food that was about to be on their table they might also gain more respect for people who chose to hunt and gather their food.

As a professionally trained chef and a huntress I have the unique opportunity to combine my respect for an animal in the field with the respect for the animal on my table. I hope more women (and men) take the time to enrich their lives by learning new ways to show respect to animals and utilize what they offer us to its full potential!

Next time you are cooking remind yourself that your food did not materialize from nothing so give it some TLC. I’m sure it will love you back!

May 13, 2013 | Category: Blog | Comments: 1


One comment on “Take the Time to Respect the Food You Cook

  1. Jeannett

    You are so right on about having respect for the food you eat. Regardless if you purchase it or harvest it yourself. It’s something I have noticed very recently with some of my close family, they do not have any respect for their food. (Or what they call food, lots of frozen, prepared junk) I know that I work hard or hunt hard for my food. I always try to puchase quality ingredients, and make as much as I can from scratch. From rubs and BBQ Sauces, to homemade muffins. Always better fresh, and shows the respect we should always have towards our food.
    P.S. I was also over cooking my meats for long time, but no more! 🙂 Thank you for blogging about this! Hope to see ya’ll in KS in August!

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