Browngirl Going Green


Pig, Beautiful Pig
February 21, 2010, 3:26 am
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Okay, so we didn’t get the ‘whole’ pig, alive and in its natural form. And yes, it was all cut-up and frozen and plastic-vacuum-bag-sealed. But still, this pig was beautiful to me. Not just because I could envision the many meals that my husband, friends and I will enjoy from the pork, but also because I’m amazed at the sheer bounty that one animal can provide to—in this case—six households! And while of course none of us are living exclusively off pork for the next six months, this is definitely enough protein (not to mention fat) to keep us all satisfactorily fed for a good while.

Pigs occupy special place of honor in Filipino culture, as well as Chinese culture (my husband is Chinese) and in the cuisines and cultures of many people from around the world. One of the few non-negotiables that I required for our wedding reception last year was that we have a whole roasted suckling pig (Filipinos call it lechon, and it’s served with the head and skin and everything), which was the big hit on the menu. Really, Filipinos can’t get married without a lechon. It’s a symbol of abundance and our connection to nature as much as a food source at these special celebrations.

Some dishes I’m planning to make are pork adobo, carnitas (although I’m not sure if I have the right cut of pork—shoulder—but I do have about a 2.5 pound roast), chicharron from the strips of fat that we got, and maybe even some lard. I have no idea how to make the last three dishes, but half the fun of doing things in more sustainable, natural ways is learning new skills. And if I can perfect carnitas (by far my favorite Mexican dish), I’ll be able to satisfy my carnitas-cravings with humanely raised pork instead of going without or shutting off my conscience for a meal of taco-truck tacos.

Here are a few pictures from the delivery this morning. Thanks to all the other buyers who went in on this purchase with me for your patience and cooperation. Thanks to Brian, Rose and their kids at Godfrey Family Farms for raising the pig. Thanks to the pig for giving its life so that we could be nourished so heartily and happily. And last but not least, thanks to the Great Creator for this bounty. AMEN!

PORK MEAT. Lots and lots of pork meat.


These are the folks who went in on the pig purchase with me. Most of them are friends of mine from social justice work, and a couple are from the Bay Area Meat CSA. The farmer, Brian Godfrey, is the tall guy in the baseball cap and light blue shirt. That's me in the middle with the purple hoodie, holding a big bag of pork fat.

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