Offal in the SMH

Posted on October 17th, 2009 by

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Offal in the SMH

It’s been a long time since I have taken any interest in the sad spectacle of Miranda Devine’s column. But today’s effort, in which she accuses various Masterchef judges and contestants of being environmentalists, is quite special.  I’m not sure if she has to pitch these articles or if she has free reign, but the pitching process/internal monologue for this one was clearly along the lines of:

  1. I’m back from holidays in Japan where I ate a chicken’s arsehole because no-one in my family speaks Japanese and we wouldn’t take advice from people who do.
  2. Chefs in Australia are starting to serve parts of animals which haven’t been served for a while.
  3. I find this gross.
  4. Environmentalists are to blame.

Eating organs and feet and ears and stomach linings once used to be penance for the poor. It became a badge of elitist gourmandising last century. Today it is a political statement – on the one hand it is a giant finger to the animal rights lobby and on the other it is a bow to green militancy which makes such a meal of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock.

Environmental warrior?

Environmental warrior? Image: www.smh.com.au

Bile, hysteria, and the politics of “eew gross” are one thing when directed against one’s ideological opponents.  But to accuse hedonistic foodies of environmental militancy is just plain odd.

The offal eaters are no environmentalists.  They just like offal, as have many cultures around the world for thousands of years.  To reproach them for the incidental (and marginal) environmental boon which it provides is to show a particularly eager commitment to vandalising the planet.

Forgive them Miranda, for they know not the environmentalism that they do.