Killing an animal to feed your family is a very basic thing.  More interesting food facts in 'Food in the headlines'. (Photo: Contributed)
Killing an animal to feed your family is a very basic thing. More interesting food facts in 'Food in the headlines'. (Photo: Contributed)

Food in the headlines

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She says:

Nowadays you can see all kinds of things advertised, and food is certainly something that we talk about often. For some reason this week it struck me just how bizarre our culture can be, and how what gets our attention is not always a flattering reflection on our intelligence but perhaps more on a primal curiosity. Shall I offer you a few examples?

I got a very interesting e-mail from a friend who often forwards little bits of advice and tips on living well. Who would have thought the topic of this missive would be the banana? Did you know that eating bananas can help against maladies ranging from hangovers to strokes? But then, maybe even if you didn’t know that, you probably realized they are a healthy food. The part of the article that really struck me was this same food can be applied much differently, and literally: you can put a piece of banana skin on a wart to kill it off, and whatever you don’t use for warts can be used to shine your shoes! (I haven’t tested the wart theory, but I can tell you that I have a cleaner for jewellery that is mostly made from bananas and it works like a dream!)

I will admit I love learning about quirky things, and so the banana e-mail interested me. It is mostly positive information as well, so that is a bonus. But don’t you have to wonder how they discovered all this stuff? I mean really, how does the idea come to you that rubbing your mosquito bite with the inside of a banana skin might take away the itch? (this was one of the other uses recommended in the e-mail I got). Now I am hooked though – I now find myself looking at my shoes every time I have a banana!

Another piece of food news I saw this week was about chickens at Kentucky Fried Chicken. New stories like this are never pleasant – you know from the headline that this will be a story with strong opinions and no desire for compromise on either side. This story was about a protest this week asking for better treatment and more humane deaths for the chickens supplied to KFC. (Why do we use the word humane when we are talking about an animal? Is it because sometimes we behave like animals? But wait a sec, don’t predatory animals kill quickly, making it, what’s the word… humane?) I suppose I am an idealist at heart, but the thought that crossed my mind was that if we perhaps focused on eating fast food less often then at least we wouldn’t have to worry about so many ill-treated chickens. Are we putting our energy into the right part of the issue here? Or perhaps the protesters are hoping guilt will sway the spending habits of loyal fried chicken eaters?

Maybe what it all comes down to is the effect food can have on us as beings. We eat not just to nourish ourselves but to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the food and company that accompanies it. Such a complete experience brings on other emotions and we end up training ourselves to look for the emotions we need to enjoy our lives. Who knows? Maybe Kentucky Fried Chicken will spawn a whole new group of newly guilt-free vegetarians. And I think I know now why monkeys are so happy and healthy, and perhaps even how they evolved. Excuse me while I go grab a banana…

He says:

Well, as a chef I can tell you that I need meat to make a living. Even if suddenly all chickens were killed in a humane way according to animal protection agency’s standards, I would go out and guess that those KFC protectors would still find something to say against that kind of killing.

Yes, humans have done many stupid things over the years and yes, some days I am not that proud to be human. But, let’s face it, humans have eaten meat for a few years now and killing an animal to feed your family is a very basic thing. I am personally not that keen to have to go shoot my own chicken to make sure that it is killed properly, so I have to rely on people to do it for me. I do buy free range, grain fed chickens as often as I can, but I don’t ask how or who killed my chicken when I am facing the cashier.

Two weeks ago I was cooking for the Sportsman Peachland Game dinner. Wow, this was something for the eye and for the stomach too. I had a blast and needless to say meat was prominent on the menu. I tasted dishes with moose, elk, venison, wild boar, lynx, and cougar but I could not bring myself to taste the beaver casserole which I am sure was just fine. Hunting is a natural thing, and I have lots of respect for hunters that do it with ethics and use methods that give the animals a fair chance. I am not a big fan of M-16 type weapons and/or anything automatic.

Eating a banana seems like a good thing. It’s safe to eat and you don’t have to sing it a song before eating it to make it a humane process. I don’t envy the news reporters - it’s always tough when you have to make an impact in a few words. This is why headlines will always have a sensational sound to them, food or not, life or death. It is also important to remember that it is possible for vegetarian people to be as stupid as meat lover people. Like my Mom used to say, it takes a lot of people to make a world.

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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