EARLY SUMMER 2011
I have never killed a chicken, and I’ve neither desire nor intention to ever do so. But I eat it. And as a mother I want to feed my family food that I have faith in. So by learning more about industrial agriculture, factory farming, meeting with farmers, regulators, policy makers and visiting slaughterhouses, I followed my own journey into the crux of the matter: humane slaughter and the necessity of access to safe, affordable, size-appropriate, clean, permitted livestock processing. Building a mini slaughterhouse on wheels was not what I dreamed I’d do when I grew up. But as the founder/executive director of Island Grown Initiative (IGI), that’s exactly what I did in 2007.
My experience living on this Island is that it inspires creative solutions to compelling and complex issues. When you eat any meat you are complicit to the life taken, which in turn sustains. For me, that means being complicit in a way I can sleep at night, after dinner. Perhaps I’m the wrong person to write “Island Grown Chicken” because it is a story that I may be too close to. But with satiated hungers, chicken bones and skin simmering in my stock pot, wet feathers and thick blood returning to the earth after the day, I’m grateful to know that those birds lived a life fit for a chicken and that I’ve paid a farmer a fair price for safe, ethically raised food. Since I’m not a farmer and will never be one, the very least that I can do is to do something.
In this issue we offer to you the journeys of chicken and eggs, the muse of Nancy Luce, blueberries, shiitakes, the meaning of “organic,” food as medicine in the veterinarian arts, and more.
Thank you dear readers, subscribers, and advertisers for supporting Edible Vineyard. Enjoy.