Animal Rights Activism, Two Ways


Last week an animal rights group vandalized  Marin Sun Farm’s butcher shop and their processing facility.  Slashed tires, sabotaged locks, smashed glass, standard senior prank tactics.

The Activists Goal: “We took action on behalf of the thousands of pigs, cows, lambs, chickens, and goats killed for profit by Marin Sun Farms. Hiding behind the language of sustainability can never hide the violence and terror of the blade and captive bolt gun… we act to make their work just that much more difficult.”


I spoke to them at the farmer’s market. It was a difficult and costly day. They feel the attacke was miss directed.

Marin Sun Farms Goal: “To participate in creating a more sustainable food model and inspire an agrarian culture that conserves our landscapes, supports the health of its inhabitants and restores the vitality of a region that has thrived for hundreds of years.”


Still yes, Marin Sun Farmer kills pigs, cows, lambs, chickens, and goats for profit, be it a small one


Tyson Brand kills chickens for profit. Hundreds of thousands, and in the name of a God that apparently despises flightless foul.

Tyson’s Goal: “We strive to honor God and be respectful of each other, our customers, and other stakeholders.”



California’s Harris Ranch kills cows under an illusion of sustainability.

Harris Ranch’s Goal: “To take exceptional care to ensure the well-being of our cattle. Livestock welfare practices include installation of shade, as well as an automated sprinkler system that reduces dust and helps cool cattle during warm summer months. These measures help reduce stress and enhance cattle performance.”

I believe “cattle performance” is enhanced by grazing grass and that it is impossible to honor any understanding God while mistreating his creations.


People will always eat meat.

I am grateful when they choose to get it from farms like Marin Sun.

As a result of the vandalism less pigs, cows, lambs, chickens, and goats were killed, cut, and converted to energy. Many local bay area butcheries did not sell them and many restaurants did not serve them.

Many Bay area eaters purchased simply purchased other pigs, cows, lambs, chickens, and goats from less sustainable sources. Animals to whom “the violence and terror of the blade and captive bolt gun” was much more vivid and pronounced and the road leading to that end far more was a psychological and ecological stress of the highest degree.

tyson-truckNotice the mud flaps.

Tyson oversee a patrolled fortress of poultry processing. Harris Ranch rules over square miles of muddy feed lots.


Comparatively, Marin Sun is an easy target. It is easy because it is trying to prove that sustainable small scale farming is possible. Security and investigation is not within their budget.


I eat meat.

Pigs, cows, lambs, chickens, and goats that lived the lives intended for their species.

I am also an animal rights activist, I buy my meat from Marin Sun Farms in support of the humane treatment of animals. A lonely island of sustainability.


The crestfallen creatures detained at Tyson Food , or Harris Ranch do live lives of terror and experience violent ends.

One day I hope to work up the courage to slash some Tyson tires. In the meantime I hope other activists work up the courage to recognized the accurate source of America farming woes.

Thanks for entertaining this little tirade. I’m going to Marin Sun butcher shop now, the sell bacon ends at 1/2 price.


While an underdone chicken is not fit to eat, it is a shame to overcook chicken. – See more at:

Part Two: Mountains, and a late dinner with Grandma

tahoe_lakeI left off, in my last post, with the goal of making my grandmother a meal that would express the sense of gratitude I strive to hold food and family and give her a small taste of happy days past. An ancestral exercise in social meals.

It was delicious and I failed.

Still, Let us roast a chicken for grandma… all day.


  • One Riverdog Chicken (3.87 lbs)
  • 3 Purple medium potatoes cubed
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1/4 cup whole almonds
  • 3 carrots diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • Olive oil as needed
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (go for salty)
  • Fresh/dried herbs as available/needed


  • Coat bird generously with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • mince garlic, chop onion.
  • In a large pan or cast iron sauté onion and garlic with oil on medium heat until onions are translucent
  • Add chopped potatoes, carrots, and more oil, cover and simmer on low to medium heat until veggies are softly and stabable with a fork.


  • Add diced apple and almonds for a quick two minute sauté finisher.
  • Stuff bird. Seal with pins or twine. Save any access stuffing fringe for later.
  • Roast bird at 250 degrees for 4 hours, coating with the dripping fat or more olive oil every 30 minute if possible, or whenever you can its no biggie.
  • chicken_preroasted Ha, looks like a grumpy old man. Take a break from the bird, screw the basting, go for a sunny walktahoe_mountain
  • Roast at 400 for 30 min to crisp skin
  • Remove bird, let cool! and remove stuffing with big spoon


  • Bake stuffing (and extra in fridge) for another 10 minutes in the oven while the bird rests.
  • Grab a drumstick say a cheers to health, kin, and happiness

As previously stated, it was delicious. The moistest bird I have ever managed. Next time I would add some fresh rosemary and thyme to the stuffing and rub down. It would have helped the contrast to the satisfyingly salt bird.

Flavors bounce of each other that way.

But back to the point. Was my Grandmother comforted by this attempt at comfort food, who knows?

My grandmother is 85, arthritic, and wheel chair bound.

The women whose kitchen my kid butt sat in eagerly a waiting kind offerings of gooey beaters.


That women is hovering somewhere in a fog of cognitive degeneration that unfairly accompanies age. I had hoped my chicken could coax out that younger soul. She at as she did at The Lakeside Inn the night prior, mechanically and without expression or comment.

I had to cut it for her, so it goes.

I am grateful that my grandmother is under the care of a lovely European companion, whom goes the extra mile daily. My grandmother dinner salads reflect that.


I am grateful that the chicken made the house smell like Thanksgiving all day.

I am grateful that my grandma does still smile when I enter the room. If nothing else the meal showed me that my food was not nearly as important as my presence at the table. In the absence of my late grandpa my butt in his old seat was great comfort.

I am grateful that when I leave Tahoe, an equally old basset hound will be by grandma’s side begging leftover chicken dinner from her plate.

tahoe_dogLastly, grateful might be a tad to over stating it, but I am certainly glad I can roast a good chicken.

“I think cooking is love, don’t you?”

– Julia Childs

Dining with one’s friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal. In spite of food fads, fitness programs, and health concerns, we must never lose sight of a beautifully-conceived meal. – See more at:
Dining with one’s friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal. In spite of food fads, fitness programs, and health concerns, we must never lose sight of a beautifully-conceived meal. – See more at:
Dining with one’s friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal. In spite of food fads, fitness programs, and health concerns, we must never lose sight of a beautifully-conceived meal. – See more at:

Part One: Mountains, and a Late Dinner with Grandma


My grandmother was up at her Tahoe home last week. Last time she was there we spread my grandfathers ashes.

Life has been a full basket lately, and i love it. Still, I felt like getting mountainous. Living ancestrally is more than just food right?


I went Tahoe to summit some heights, see Grandma, and get sufficient Vitamin D for a change.


Solo Tahoe hikes always end up as experiences of deep (and some what dark) introspection.


Mt. Tallac was no exception.

What came to mind (of course) was food. Food, friends, and family.

Since going omnivore several months ago I have taken several steps to ensure the flora and fauna I convert into energy is treated with a high degree of respect.


This has included:

  1. starting an garden
  2. (almost) always buying ethically raised and slaughtered animals
  3. becoming an ardent and obsessive fermenter
  4. sharing food with friends
  5. eating with a sense of deep and genuine gratitude

That last part, the gratitude part, I have been sliding in that one a bit.

The hustle bustle of work, life, and a mind case of orthorexia have gotten in the way of the calm  mindfulness and social interaction that should accompany a good meal. I miss cooking and eating with vegan friends, the same way as vegan  I missed roasting chicken and rolling porcupine balls with my Grandparents.

HPIM1691.JPGFood feels burns for inclusion.


Eating dry halibut with my grandma at The Lakeside Inn casino. A ritual sapped of its old charm since its ultra modern remodel.


That charm was linked to memories of meals with a younger bigger family full of vitality. I hoped I could give her a meal that was a little better. After all…

I do not want to cook, I want to create plates of nourishing delicious for all eaters.

I do not want to eat, I want to expand my gustatory consciousness with the my favorite faces.

I do not want to whip up some chicken with grandma, I want to slow roast a Pastured rooster stuffed with Berkeley’s farmers market bounty for an old women who laboured to give me the world.



Slow Roasted Riverdog with an Almond Apple Stuffing

Its what’s for dinner Grandma.

Recipe in part two, but first time to sample the local gut flora.


Lies My Marketplace Told Me

My flat mate left for Minneapolis last month. I finally got around to getting rid of some of the stuff left in the freezer. I was washing out an old tub of vibrant green pistachio ice cream. It was a good tub fated for holding a pound of bee pollen.

I poured the contents into the sink and glanced at the ingredients.


The usual ugliness was present in force. Corn syrup,  cheap gum emulsifiers, skim milk with artificial more shelf stable fat added back.

I think, “Whoa. A real bastardization of Old Fashioned ice cream with its cream, sugar, and vanilla.”

I read the front of the container.

ice_creamSo it is old fashioned after all huh? Well, Berkeley Bowl Marketplace you just lost some major street cred with me.

Finding time to shop is hard enough for most of our over worked country. It frustrates me to think of the folks who were mislead by this comfortingly simple label that exudes in house artisanal production.


I went away for the weekend, here is the ice cream in my sink…. two days later when I got home. Apparently, melting is to hip for what ever is binding the artificially old fashion green cream.

For those who rightfully like the quick convenience of store bought cream. Here is a quick and cheap recipe for ice cream with one ingredient,. You would need a food processor or blender.


I would add a pinch of salt, touch of vanilla, and some almonds… maybe some nutmeg.

Foodishness is Foolishness.

The 11 Trillion Dollar Apple

Is an apple worth 11 trillon green backs ($$$). The Union of Concerned Scientists thinks so.

This sounds a little to good to be true, I wonder if this astounding apple medical power is based on adding it to the American diet, or is the apples power instilled by replacing a lesser snack

  • (Diet + Little Debbie Snack Cake) + apple = Prevention of 30,000 premature deaths
  • (Diet – Little Debbie Snack Cake) + apple = Prevention of 30,000 premature deaths

One thing is certain.


  • (Diet + Little Debbie Snack Cake) – apple ≠ Prevention of 30,000 premature deaths

It is a good mission either way. So in the American Democratic tradition, I am going to make the simple and likely superfluous gesture of writing my congress representative. I look forward to the form letter thanking me.

Do the same maybe?

Coffee…. Bullet Proofed


Bullet Proof Coffee (BPC), it is a hot topic. I decided to try it.

4 mornings, 4 fats, and a pinch of salt.

Read the rest of this entry »

FDA Standardizes ‘Gluten-Free’ Food Labels — Grub Street New York

gluten free

FDA Standardizes ‘Gluten-Free’ Food Labels

And the magic number is….. 20 parts per million.

Low enough for the 3 million celiac I hope.

Not the beginning of a gluten free, garbage full processed food trend I hope even more. Almond flour is pricey.