Saturday, October 3, 2009

Locavore side-effect: appreciation of "waste"

A side-effect of eating locally is that you start to appreciate all of the things you used to throw out without a thought.
Bones of cooked meats are fodder for stock. I never pitch a chicken carcass. Instead, it goes into a pot with an onion and garlic cloves, herbs, and spices to be boiled for quite a while. I'll strain this and the next day I'll reduce it and freeze the stock in ice cube trays for future use.
Fat also becomes a valuable resource. I don't know of a local oil, so I have to buy it from afar. I use this oil sparingly and buy it in bulk containers to reduce its impact. Butter is available at Reading Terminal, but I hate to go through it so quickly. Now I pour my bacon drippings into a small Tupperware after it cools a little. If a stock, soup, or stew forms a solid fat on top in the fridge, it goes into a container as well. Of course these fats are not good for eating on toast and bread, but they work well for cooking. They yield a great flavor to the food cooked in them.
Using these animal parts is an ethical and mindful way that I consume meat. Like the native Americans that used every part of the buffalo out of respect, I strive to waste less of this valuable resource. Local mat raised in a healthy, ethical manner is more pricey than industrial meat. I choose to incorporate this food into my diet, I also choose to use it completely.

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