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“Eating nose to tail has to become
the norm again.”

Meat consumption is growing worldwide. And the problems that go with it are growing too – vast land areas used for the production of animal feed, the use of agricultural chemicals and a shrinking gene pool, to name just a few. In Germany and many other industrialised countries animals are farmed and slaughtered, but much of the meat is wasted because people eat only a third to two thirds of the animal. Slow Food Deutschland (Slow Food Germany) recently organised a discussion series in Munich titled “Slow Food Kuttelgepräche” (Slow Food Tripe Talks) focussing on sustainable food for the future and the role of meat consumption.

 

Members of the expert panel participating in the cooking and discussion event in the Kustermann cookery school at the famous Viktualienmarkt were Dr. Ursula Hudson, chairperson of Slow Food Deutschland, Dr. Rupert Ebner, veterinarian and member of the board of directors of Slow Food Deutschland, together with guests Simon Tress, head chef at the ROSE biohotel and restaurant, Georg Schweisfurth, an organic entrepreneur and author, Jürgen Körber, master butcher at the Herrmannsdorfer Landwerkstätten and Günther Czerkus, Chairman of the Federal Association of Professional Shepherds. The moderator was Dr. Wilfried Bommert, Spokesman for the board of the World Food Institute (IWE).

The event focussed on offal – the edible internal parts of an animal such as heart, tripe, head, kidneys and liver. In Germany, a hundred years ago, people used the whole animal in their cooking; today these products have virtually vanished from the meat display at the supermarkets and even your local butcher and you won’t find them on the menu of most restaurants. Instead they are turned into petfood, used as fertiliser or as fuel. People have forgotten how to cook offal and so they choose to buy and eat cuts such as steak, chops and mince.

Central to the Slow Food philosophy is that eating has a value. Ursula Hudson, chairperson of Slow Food Germany, vehemently criticises the waste of meat in our food system and proclaims, “We must go back to eating nose to tail, that has to be the norm again! Only eating the choice bits is indefensible both morally and environmentally.” Hudson strongly supports reviving forgotten skills to improve butchers’ ability to prepare offal ready for cooking. At the same time, she wants consumers to learn how to cook tasty meals using these specialties. The Slow Food Tripe Talks were a step in this direction. The participants not only talked, they also cooked. Directed by celebrity chef Simon Tress, they cooked two dishes. One was lamb tripe with dried tomatoes and pine nuts; the other was a vitello tonnato made with pigs tongues.

The event was timed to coincide with the international Terra Madre day organised by the Slow Food movement each year on December 10. Last year there were hundreds of events in over 150 countries which celebrated regional food traditions, the rich variety of food available to us and commitment to a sustainable food system.

More information at www.slowfood.com
Source: Slow Food Deutschland e.V.

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