Time Out deserves a fist bump for printing the most self-indicting letter ever, from some bleeding idiot outraged over a photo of a whole pig roasting on a spit: “I don’t want to see visual reminders that my lunch was once a living and breathing animal.” As they say on the political blogs: Teh stupid — it burns. Hot dogs good; porchetta scary. Please. Food does not come from the supermarket. And if you can’t face the artisanal link, you certainly don’t want to contemplate the industrial chain. “Our Daily Bread” should be required viewing for anyone who reacts to a picture of a whole hog by throwing her turkey sandwich in the trash. Tom died in vain.
That kind of denial is exactly what’s involved in one of the most unsettling processes I’ve read about in some time, how processors turn pigskins into chicharrones, aka pork rinds. The story was in the WSJournal, on a dispute over imports of skins from countries with foot-and-mouth, the disease that devastated British farms less than 10 years ago. Pigs there, of course, contracted it by eating imported meat (you don’t even want to dwell). Thank allah for the photos and relatively long text to make it clear just how processed this stuff is: In one factory, frozen skins are mechanically minced and cooked into pellets, which are then boxed up and shipped off to other factories to be fried. Forget the issue of whether the meat is contaminated to begin with. How many un-health-cared hands touch it before it lands in someone’s mouth; how many chances are there for something to go horribly wrong? And people freak out about lard?