• Posted by Califia Suntree on January 7th, 2009, 9:39 PM

    Last night I had the pleasure of hearing author Steve Rinella read from and discuss his new tome American Buffalo. The book came out in December, and it looks to be a fantastic read for anyone who likes narrative nonfiction, has an interest in American history, or haa ever wondered what buffalo hump tastes like. (“With a bit of salt, the cracklings taste like pork rinds but much better. They taste wilder…”) As Spooning readers will recall, Steve is an avid hunter (I was once lucky enough to get a bit of the caribou merguez sausage he made–very rich, dark, and feral tasting) so he ended his talk last night with a statement about the prominent role that hunters are playing in conservation efforts around the country, including of buffalo. He outlined this argument in 2007 in an op-ed for the New York Times, where he noted that “game meat” like venison could be relabeled “free-range, grass-fed, organic, locally produced, locally harvested, sustainable, native, low-stress, low-impact, humanely slaughtered meat.” I would love to see a debate on Spooning on the topic–should a “sustainable” future populated by “locavores” mean there should be more hunting? Are hunting clubs the next CSAs? These are big questions for concerned eaters–in the meantime, I look forward to finishing American Buffalo.

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