Thursday, May 31, 2007

Chefs turn to witchcraft and sorcery in logical next step for food world

Photo Courtesy anatomist on FlickrSo you've taken Michael Pollan's advice. You replaced science with culture, and then you threw out "anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food," and your "ancestors " get to veto everything you'd like to buy in the supermarket.

Which kind of sucks, since your great ancestors were salt-of-the-earth types in East Texas and Oklahoma who mostly just fried the sort of critters you find around your yard, and you came to San Francisco to move beyond all that, but whatever. You've made the haj to Terra Madre for the Slow Food truffle-and-wine orgy, and even enthusiastically applauded the flag of Iran. Yay!

Locavore, check; organic/sustainable, check; rallied against demon corn, check.

What's next?

Well, it turns out, ritualistically stuffing excrement and chamomile into cow horns and deer bladders is next! Awesome.

It sounds weird at first, but really it makes sense if you think about it. We went organic because we didn't want to eat food with poison on it, right? And then we went sustainable because we didn't want our grandchildren to starve in a sea of fire and sand, right?

Well, now we're going to go "biodynamic" because Lucifer is a being of light that makes us creative and free and because we need "rituals, practices and formulas based on (the) study of nature and the cosmos -- for example, the making and applying of certain preparations by the lunar, solar and astrological calendars."

Wait, what??

No no, hold on, the Chronicle explains further, it starts making a lot more sense:

Two of the preparations, 501 and 500, involve stirring quartz and manure respectively into water in a way that creates a vortex in the water, reversing direction intermittently throughout one hour. The mixture is highly dilute, and often described as "homeopathic" in dosage.

Some other formulas include those injected into compost. One consists of dried chamomile flowers stuffed into intestines (natural sausage casings) and buried underground for six months. A yarrow compost preparation consists of dried yarrow blossoms stuffed into the bladder of a deer, hung from a tree for six months then buried underground for another six months. Oak bark preparation, also used in compost, must be placed in the skull of a domesticated horned animal and buried for six months before it is used.

See, it's not so bad. The whole thing was dreamed up by an Austrian esotericist named Rudolph Steiner who defenders say was quite charming, only very rarely delivering controversial lectures on race and mostly just prattling on about Anthroposophy, which is about "sense-free thinking" and "spiritual science" and other things that make absolutely no sense whatsoever.

The key thing is, biodynamics can give you an edge. That's why two-Michelin-starred Manresa chef David Kinch is doing it -- it gets him out of the undistinguished scrum of chefs shopping organic at the farmer's market and into what he called "the next level" on the "voodoo side."

Read all about it, if you haven't already:

Chronicle: Digging biodynamic / Restaurateurs look beyond organic in quest to cultivate pristine produce

(Photo Courtesy anatomist on Flickr)

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V Smoothe said...

I &hearts you, Covers.

June 01, 2007 7:45 AM  
V Smoothe said...

Um, that's supposed to be a heart. Stupid blogger.

June 01, 2007 7:46 AM  
V Smoothe said...

I mean Blogger. Not you. Okay, I'll stop now.

June 01, 2007 7:49 AM  
Anonymous said...

I've been reading blogs for the past hour and I have to say, this is one of the most interesting posts I've seen today! I'm off to go read the SF article now....

Ari (Baking and Books)

June 02, 2007 3:52 PM  
Ryan said...

Aww, you guys are too nice, thanks for the nice comments. And v smoothe, you don't have to worry about me thinking you're calling me stupid, when you do that you are usually more subtle and attach a lot of smart words to make your case ;->

June 02, 2007 6:28 PM  

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