Sunday, October 12, 2008

Porkchops and ...

I spent a cold hour the other night with a chisel and a paint scraper. I could have taken the easy way out, and just defrosted my freezer the way normal people do it: put all your frozen food into a cooler, then open the door to your freezer and turn off the power. A pile of towels on the floor should soak up the sloppy mess.

But no, I did it the hard way. Sitting in front of the freezer, chiseling frost and ice away from shelves and walls, scraping it into a small mountain under my chair. Using a snow shovel to toss it outside onto the grass. Then sorting and rearranging the various frozen foods back into the freezer.

I did all this because next week we are getting our hog. Well, ex-hog. About 150 pounds of frozen pork chops, pork steaks, ground pork, bratwurst, breakfast sausage, smoked ham, fresh ham, pork roast, pork hocks, spare ribs, bacon, liver and lard. From a hog raised on a local, organic farm who lived a happy life, who was able to go outside every day and see the sun and the clouds and feel the wind, who was able to roll in the mud and lay in the shade of a tree with his mother and brothers and sisters. Who was fed milk from happy cows and grain from happy fields. (Okay, maybe I'm going a bit far with the 'happy fields' bit. But they're certainly healthier fields, biologically speaking.)

The pork you buy in a grocery store comes from a hog who spent its life inside a factory farm, who never saw the sun or the sky, who never stepped off of concrete floor, who lived in a box 24 hours a day and was fed who-knows-what. I won't even go into the way they are handled by the factory workers. I assume you've all read enough about that in the news recently.

So, I am looking forward to a full freezer this winter. If only my chickens would finish with their moult and start laying eggs again, we could be enjoying a bacon-and-eggs breakfast every day of the week. Cholesterol be damned!

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