Discovering the joy of "odd" food..

When I say "picky eater", what comes to mind? A three-year-old with peas on their plate? Or that one friend in your group who STILL orders chicken strips and fries every time you go out? I'm sure the majority of us wouldn't describe ourselves as picky eaters. But you're probably more choosy than you think.

Lard is a delightful place to start your Odd Food journey!

Lard is a delightful place to start your Odd Food journey!

Your farmers are acutely aware of this. How much bacon do you eat? But have you ever made bone broth? We all buy chicken breasts but have you ever rendered lard or tallow? Now there is nothing wrong with loving good bacon (actually you may be ill if you don't enjoy it..) but have you considered the cost? Without fail I have wonderful, well-meaning folks who will buy ten packages of steaks, fifteen pounds of bacon or a dozen chicken breasts and trot merrily home. Now I am stuck with the other eighty pounds of "lesser" cuts to sell. Folks, one hog produces around a hundred and twenty pounds of meat but only ten percent of that is bacon. So we have taken the life of an entire animal so that you can have bacon... I know that I may be belaboring this point but to customers it's meat, to farmers it's a life. There is a real respect and a conviction that comes with that. Unless you've lived as a producer it's hard to grasp the deep need to honor this animal. So how do we become more responsible consumers? It's really quite tasty...

Be bold! Experiment! Buy a nose-to-tail cookbook and use it! Render lard, make bone broth, eat chicken legs and picnic roasts. When you've run out of bacon don't go to the grocery, fry up ham steaks or breakfast sausage instead. When there are no more loin roasts buy shoulder roasts. There is really no end to the process. Once you're eating all kinds of cuts of meat try liver or make beef heart pastrami or head cheese. Get funky with it y'all, because that is how you celebrate this creature's life and really do it justice.

I actually get emotional when I think about all of the amazing food that millions of people will never try or even hear of. Just think about all of the different tomatoes that exist! Truly, it's our own fault when we get bored of food or can't find anything to cook. The world is literally brimming with wonderful treats. Now be empowered! Go find a farmers market, buy something you've never heard of and make something truly beautiful! 

Tag us in your #oddfood photos (success story or failed BOLD attmept!) @hamptonridgefarm!