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WhiteTrash BBQ -- Real Pit Barbecue from New York City. This is the story of a fire obsessed guy, living in Brooklyn, with a dream of producing award winning, competition busting, real Barbeque. Come live the dream as I compete around the country in the KCBS Championship Barbecue circuit.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Pimping My Life Away.....

Every once in a blue moon, which seems to have been shining brightly this July, a vendor, manufacturer, or publisher will offer me an item to review. My standard response is to thank them for the offer and tell them that I'll accept it and write about it, but my opinion will be my opinion. If I like it, I'll say it. If I don't, well that goes up too. Most vendors are OK with that, but there's been a few who shied away.

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from the American Lamb Board offering me a package of lamb to try out. I accepted and the results were posted here. Well, it seems that Tana Butler over at I Heart Farms has some issues with the American Lamb Board and all the bloggers who accepted their offer.

Ms Butler's blog is dedicated to the small farmer and "people who are smart support sustainable agriculture, and do not support the pinheads and reptiles who make policies that hasten the destruction of our fragile environment."

So what's the problem with The American Lamb Board?
  1. Ms Butler is appalled that the American Lamb Board is in it for the money. From her blog, "Remember that ".org" in the web address? How disingenuous is that? From Wikipedia:

    In the US and the UK, the .org TLD is mostly associated with non-profit organizations (in the latter '.uk' is usually but not always added after the '.org'). In addition to its wide use in the charitable field, it is often used by the open-source movement, as opposed to the .com domains used mostly by companies.

    This isn't NPR we're talking about, folks. The American Lamb Board folks are all about the profit: they have an advertising budget that is nearly $1.5 million! Non-profit, my ass." - Gee it's a trade organization. What a surprise. Just because they have a large advertising budget doesn't make them non-profit. I wonder what that advertising budget of PBS or The Red Cross is.
  2. That the lamb was not produced "cleanly, humanely, and sustainably." I don't remember seeing anything in the package claiming it was. One blogger (Stephencooks) stated that his lamb came from Superior Farms who's website states, "Superior Farms lamb is raised naturally, which means it is minimally processed with no artificial ingredients. They now raise Pure lamb, which is grown with no antibiotics or hormones. The company also supports many small farmers who are excellent stewards for the environment." Sounds good to me. Mine wasn't labeled, but I'm not sure who produced the meat. The only claim I saw was that the lamb was American.
  3. And finally the true crux of the matter - Ms Butler doesn't like lamb. Again, from her blog, "I'm not saying what these people cooked and wrote about on their various blogs wasn't very tasty indeed. (As for me, with rare exceptions, lamb tastes very dead to me. I've only had it a few times that it was good, and that was because it was very fresh, very clean, pastured lamb. But eat lamb, if that's what you like!)".
I support Ms Butler in her effort to promote the small farmer and meat that is produced "cleanly, humanely, and sustainably," but it's wrong to condemn the bloggers and the American Lamb Board for shilling their product.

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At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm actually an avid reader of both your blog and Tana's...but her response was a little over the top for me.

Even the small farms she so verdantly supports need to make a profit. Unless they are independently wealthy and run the farm as a hobby, they are in it for the money. Maybe they aren't in it JUST for the money, but the money is a part of the equation. To suggest otherwise is ignorant.

This seems to me like the sort of rant that was posted purely to cause controversy and increase traffic to her blog. It also smells of the "high horse" that some "green" types ride incessantly.

Again, I love her blog too...but she's out of line here.

At 6:48 PM, Blogger The BBQ Guy said...

I visited I Heart Farms tonight and browsed several articles. I am quite sure that the author did not actually live on a farm for very long, if ever.

I applaud her concern for animals, but I think she has some unrealistic expectations for farming as a business.

At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Tana said...

Howdy: my liking lamb or not has nothing whatsoever to do with my distaste for factory farmed meat. NOTHING. That is just plain silly.

"BBQ Guy" left a comment on my blog taking the position that confinement operations are healthier for pigs, keeping them safe from predators and even their own mothers.

My friend, Jim Dunlop, raises pastured pigs and chickens at TLC Ranch. (Lest you think TLC means "tender loving care, think again: it stands for Tastes Like Chicken). I've never heard of a single piglet being squished by its mother. As for predators, Jim has a huge Maremma guard dog named Angel. She's sufficient.

The meat is the cleanest I've ever had, and I simply cannot eat what passes for pork in the "real world." I tried, and it tasted like the s--t that the animals stand in and breathe. Yuck.

As for the ball-free "Anonymous," who left a comment here, I don't do anything to drive traffic to my blog. I don't try to be controversial: I simply do not suffer fools gladly, nor do I appreciate the corruption that infests Fleishman-Hillard. I looked that gift horse in the mouth, with a simply Google, and the taint of government corruption and Doublespeak is ALL OVER THEM. If no one else will do the work, the research, I am happy to. I enjoy it, and I'm good at it.

High horse, my patootie. I have nothing against freebies: I get them all the time. But I have every right in the world to question the motives of multinational agencies who are duplicitous and conniving in their seeming good intentions.

BBQ Guy is right: I didn't live on a farm. I never claimed to: I am completely transparent in my admission that: 1) I don't plant seeds, I bury them; 2) I revere the people who are doing the work of bringing CLEAN and SUSTAINABLY RAISED food to our tables.

Eat all the lamb you want, and if the chemicals they eat goes into your mouth, and body, and you don't mind, well, have some more. I really don't care who eats lamb. That isn't why I wrote what I wrote. Anybody who knows my work, knows why I do what I do. If I wanted traffic, I'd write about real white trash like Britney Spears.


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