Ace Interview with Berlin Reed, The Ethical Butcher

berlin reed

Yesterday, I read a brilliant interview on the Ace Hotel blog with a guy called Berlin Reed, aka The Ethical Butcher. I’ve never heard of him before but have since become obsessed with learning as much as I can about what he does. Mostly because he said many things in the interview that reflect my own personal philosophies and mindset when it comes to food consumption. My favourite excerpt from the interview:

Ace: Dario Cecchini, who wrote the forward for Primal Cuts says, “There are four things an animal must have: A good life, a good death, a good butcher and a good cook — someone who can dignify the animal and all those whose labors led it to the table.” What do you think about that?

Berlin: I love it! It is the theme of my party and that quote, paraphrased, is the chapter in my book. It is absolutely true, and in my opinion, can be extended to our entire food system. Where does it come from? How was it made and by whom? How did it get to the restaurant/store/market? These are questions we need to ask ourselves about grapes, bananas and coffee just as much as we do about pork and salmon. We have to start looking at our system as whole, as well as our implication in it. The respect afforded these animal is a stream that flows all the way from farm to slaughterhouse to butcher’s counter to your table, you can taste the difference in these meats. Respect is nowhere in the equation of industrial meat, no respect for animals or land, no respect for those who labor in their diseased feedlots and no respect for us, the consumers who will ultimately ingest this food. The four keys open the door to responsible food production and consumption across the board. It is time to ask the questions, not just look for labels.

Serving as a chef, butcher and { meat } blogger he certainly has his hands full, but it seems that this chap also hosted a series of supper clubs…a supper tour if you will, around the US for the past few months culminating in a dinner and book release in Portland tomorrow night { details to be found on the ethical butcher blog }.

I highly recommend reading the interview, I personally find it refreshing that there is someone out there doing what he does. Although I am a vegetarian I am pro meat consumption if it’s done right. It’s just not for me right now – and some of the problems Berlin cited are just some { not all } of the reasons why I chose to stop my meat consumption, { that being said there are various reasons that make up the whole as to why I don’t eat meat – most of which I don’t bother tell people because they get all passive-agressivey about it! }. But regardless of your stance it’s a good read and an encouragement to be an informed participant in your food decisions.

image by alison picard

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