America is in the midst of a meat zeitgeist. Butchers have emerged as the rock stars of the culinary world, and cozy gastropubs serving up pork belly, lamb burgers, and sweetbreads rule the restaurant scene. In New York, the humble meatball enjoys entre status from upscale Gramercy Tavern to newcomer The Meatball Shop. Across the country in San Francisco, savvy chefs flock to hip meat markets like The Fatted Calf. If butchers are our new rock stars, then Berlin Reed is their front man.
Berlin Reed is "The Ethical Butcher," a former self-described militant vegan punk who grudgingly took a job as a butcher's apprentice in Brooklyn when he could find no other work. Shockingly, he fell in love with the art of butchering, and a food revolution was born. Along the way he saw how corporate greed, unsustainable food practices, and outright misinformation gave birth to such falsities as the USDA label 'organic' and the conglomerate of eco-friendly supermarkets. Most people, even those that try to be healthy and green, are not really eating what they think they are eating. The Ethical Butcher will shine a light on these untruths and show a better way towards food justice and the sustainable living of a mindful omnivore.
Through the lens of Berlin's personal story, The Ethical Butcher educates listeners about how they can improve the meat industry by participating in it. It's a memoir in cuts and Berlin's return to eating meat illustrates for listeners and foodies alike how they can change the meat industry by making better choices.
A very candid look at modern food "culture". Berlin not only points out what's wrong yet marches forward and provides real alternatives.
Very refreshing to hear a fellow ex-vegan chef's perspective on food, nutrition and the labels we attach to ourselves.
A standing ovation for his clear description and analysis of the entanglement between big business and the "regulatory" entities.
If you enjoyed Joel Salatin's 'Folks, this ain't normal!' The Ethical Butcher is bound to be your next listen/read.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I agree strongly with the author's premise that engaging a practice in an ethical way represents the best way to effect change. It is much better than ridicule and disdain which have no chance of creating a dialogue.
Unfortunately, I just can't take someone seriously when the make sweeping statements like "all of modern Western society is a farce" or "the rich just don't want the poor to succeed and that's a fact."
As an advocate of local sourcing and sustainable practices I really wanted to enjoy this book. The author has many important things to say from first person experience. But the writing is just too over the top for me to allow myself to be influenced. I feel it undermines the author's trust and disrespects the reader's acumen when an author makes sweeping generalizations and wants you to accept it with "that's just a fact."
Also, the author has chosen to read his own book, which is almost always a mistake. His voice is nasal and weak and his reading is flat.
I believe he would be a fantastic dinner companion, but this book is a step in the wrong direction.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful