My first guest this week is Barry Estabrook food blogger and author, with his latest book “PIG TALES: An Omnivore’s Quest for Sustainable Meat”
An eye-opening investigation of the commercial pork industry and an inspiring alternative to the way pigs are raised and consumed in America.
Barry Estabrook, author of the New York Times bestseller Tomatoland, now explores the dark side of the American pork industry. Drawing on his personal experiences raising pigs as well as his sharp investigative instincts, Estabrook covers the range of the human-porcine experience. He embarks on nocturnal feral pig hunts in Texas. He visits farmers who raise animals in vast confinement barns for Smithfield and Tyson, two of the country’s biggest pork producers. And he describes the threat of infectious disease and the possible contamination of our food supply. Through these stories shines Estabrook’s abiding love for these remarkable creatures. Pigs are social, self-aware, and playful, not to mention smart enough to master the typical house dog commands of “sit, stay, come” twice as fast as your average pooch. With the cognitive abilities of at least three-year-olds, they can even learn to operate a modified computer. Unfortunately for the pigs, they’re also delicious to eat.
Estabrook shows how these creatures are all too often subjected to lives of suffering in confinement and squalor, sustained on a drug-laced diet just long enough to reach slaughter weight, then killed on mechanized disassembly lines. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Pig Tales presents a lively portrait of those farmers who are taking an alternative approach, like one Danish producer that has a far more eco-friendly and humane system of pork production, and new, small family farms with free-range heritage pigs raised on antibiotic-free diets. It is possible to raise pigs responsibly and respectfully in a way that is good for producers, consumers, and some of the top chefs in America.
Provocative, witty, and deeply informed, Pig Tales is bound to spark conversation at dinner tables across America.
A three-time James Beard Award winner, Barry Estabrook is a former contributing editor at Gourmet magazine and the author of Tomatoland, a book about industrial tomato agriculture. He blogs at politicsoftheplate.com and lives in Vermont.
In the second half…
Schane Gross proprietor of two of Wichita’s finest eating establishments and the Douglas Avenue Chop Shop joins us to offer her take on heritage pigs and how you can get high quality humanely raised pork raised right here in Kansas. www.chopshopwichita.com
Good Life Guy’s Wine of the Week:
2011 Bodegas volver Triga, Alicante – Spain
Triga is the new project between Jorge Ordonez and Rafael Canizares. The vineyards for Triga are sandwiched between the towns of Pinoso and Salinas in Alicante. A blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine displays intense black and blue fruit aromas with nuances of spice and florality. A deep wine with rich flavors and long spice on the palate, which gives way to a focused finish.
Wine Spectator 94/100 – “Expressive flavors of black cherry, mulled plum, dark chocolate, licorice and mineral mingle in this harmonious red. Offers a sleek texture and a solid structure, matching power with elegance. Impressive, in the modern style. Drink now through 2021.”