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Paperback – 256 pages
7.25 Inches × 9 Inches (w × h)

Weight: 515 Grams
BISAC: COOKING / Specific Ingredients / Meat
Publisher: New Society Publishers
ISBN: 9780865717923
Pub. Date: 2015-11-01

About the Author

Meredith Leigh

Meredith Leigh has worked as a farmer, butcher, chef, teacher, non-profit executive director, consultant, and writer for the past 17 years, all in the pursuit of sustainable food. She has amassed a wealth of experience and perspective in re-imagining mindful foodways, and focuses particularly on supply chain development, whole systems thinking, and the cultural implications of food activism. She is passionate about integrated agriculture that includes plants and animals in dynamic rotation, soil and food microbiology, and food preservation. She is the author of Pure Charcuterie: The Craft & Poetry of Curing Meats at Home, and has written for Mother Earth News, GRIT, Crop Stories, and Edible Asheville. She works for Living Web Farms and travels extensively teaching charcuterie and food production and processing to chefs, butchers, home cooks, and farmers. She lives with her partner and four children in Asheville, NC

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The Ethical Meat Handbook

Complete home butchery, charcuterie and cooking for the conscious omnivore

by Meredith Leigh



Nutrition, environmental impact, ethics, sustainability — it seems like there's no end to the factors we must consider when we think about our food. At the center of the dietary storm is animal-based agriculture. Was your beef factory-farmed or pasture-raised? Did your chicken free range, or was it raised in a battery cage? Have you, in short, met your meat?

Most efforts to unravel the complexities of the production and consumption of animal protein tend to pit meat eaters and vegetarians against each other. The Ethical Meat Handbook seeks a middle ground, arguing that by assuming full responsibility for the food on our fork, and more importantly, the route by which it gets there, animals can be an optimal source of food, fiber, and environmental management. This hands-on, practical guide covers:

  • Integrating animals into your garden or homestead
  • Basic butchery: whole animal, primals, subprimals, and end-cuts, including safety and knife skills
  • Charcuterie: history, general science and math principles, tooling up, and recipes
  • Culinary highlights: getting creative, preparing difficult cuts, sauces, ferments, difficult cuts and extras.

Eating diversely may be the most revolutionary and proactive action we can take to ensure the sustainability of our food system. The Ethical Meat Handbook challenges us to take a hard look at our individual dietary choices, increase our self-reliance and at the same time enjoy delicious food that benefits our health and our planet.

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