Jude Becker’s Philosophy

I cut the spring garden peas.  They regrew and flowered.  I don’t recall the flowers being this pretty in the spring.

—-

“Do you ever see piles of junk around a winery?” Jude Becker asked.

“No.”

“And why not?  Because the wine people decided that a visit to their farm would be a wonderful part of the wine experience.  That’s what I want to do here.”

We stood in the loft of his remodeled barn, surrounded by his Dad’s beautiful wood projects, including a depiction of the twelve apostles, commissioned by a church but never paid for.  We leaned against the bar.

“Why can’t pork be the same as wine?  This is where I want to have tastings.”

I thought about what Jude said, and I realize he’s right.  Pork should have more prestige than wine.  Somehow we’ve commoditized this animal, and took away anything special, anything which could enrich our life rather than just sustain it.  And in so doing, we’ve commoditized the farmer.

Jude strives to differentiate his pork from commodity pork.  Why shouldn’t his pork be different from mine also?  We could celebrate the terroir of pork.  We could celebrate the seasons.  We could celebrate the in-season feeds.

Citygirlfriend grew celery this year.  It was dense, dark-green, and full of flavor.  I raved, “This is nutrient-dense celery.  I never want to eat store-bought celery again.”

I know all of this sounds artisanal, and it is.  I’m going further down the artisanal road, and probably won’t be able to ever return to commodity food  production.  So be it, I’m not a commodity, why should my food be?

10 Responses to Jude Becker’s Philosophy

  1. Doug says:

    Poetic Pork, I love it!

  2. Diana says:

    amen, farmer!

  3. This is my first time commenting, when I read this I was reminded of a UK documentary I watched a while ago, after a bit of googling I found a copy of it you might be able to watch in the states.

    It’s called Dispatches: Supermarket secrets

    http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-5774892958354867332

    Feel free to e-mail me if the link doesn’t work.

    start.the.heart at gmail dot com

  4. amyparmenter says:

    I find it slightly amusing that a jewish girl is married to an artisanal pork farmer.

    Amy Parmenter
    The ParmFarm

  5. Sarah says:

    I think you mean artisanal (I’m a spelling geek).

  6. MWReese says:

    The hottest restaurant in Austin right now is Bryce Gilmore’s Barley Swine. I haven’t been there yet – it’s too hip to get in to. But I’m really digging a little mom & pop place near me with a tiny menu called Noble Pig.

    And what about good bacon? We can’t find good bacon. For some reason we get an inch of water when we “fry” bacon. What’s going on?

    It’s all about pork these days.

    I think you’re on to something.

  7. I’m imagining the menu now: grilled pork tenderloin with homeade cream of celery soup . . . Yum.

  8. I think it’s great you’re going further down the artisanal road.

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