Grilled Venison

Take a look at your dinner table right before you dig in. Look at those veggies in the bowl…where did they come from? That barbecued chicken, steak, or even the sausage  on that pizza in front of you…where did it come from?  Now, I don’t expect you to say “The ground”, “A pig”, “A cow”, or anything sarcastic like that. What I want you to think about, is WHERE did it come from?I remember last year being shocked to look on a bag of frozen vegetables and reading “Product of China” !! Anymore we are mostly used to our food being shipped from Central or even South America.

So much of the food in grocery stores today has traveled so many miles to get there. And on its trip to get to your table, has probably  endured numerous processing treatments, laboratory experiments, border crossings, and maybe even tariffs. Not to mention the chemicals it has absorbed before it even got on board! I often wonder about “third-world” countries regulations on pesticide use and so on. Basically you have no idea what is in the food you are about to swallow. And trust me, the longer the shelf life, the more cautious you should be!

Meanwhile, within 100 miles of where you are sitting, there are thousands of farmers and local growers raising food that costs less and is better for you. One of those growers could be yourself. Whether you live in a city row home or out in the rural farmland, you can harvest your own least some of it. Notice I said harvest, not just grow. Harvesting would include picking the cherry tomatoes out of your potted tomato plant to venturing into the woods to obtain free range, humanely grown, organic venison meat.

Venison Cuts

The idea of hunting to many urbanites and suburbanites, mostly does not even exist, though many are constantly looking for this low cost, low fat,  organic, free range, anti-biotic free, humanely raised source of meat. This can be done by that person themselves! Being a hunter does not have to be a  political stance. It is basically oneperson harvesting this kind of meat I spoke of earlier, and doing it at a very low cost. What greater peace of mind than to know where your meat came from…from the field to the table.

Hunting and raising ones own meat has been in man kinds history for thousands of years. It has been only until the last 100 years that we have begun to remove ourselves from this reality. And only in the last 50 years has hunting become so removed as it is today from the city or suburban resident. And I believe as we look around the state of health of the average American…it’s taking its toll! Heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, and much more. Many of these diseases (though not all the time) stem from poor nutrition. Even if one tries to eat a variety. The food either has no nutritional value left in it and/or its saturated and covered in chemicals.

Processed venison

This doesn’t have to be! And it doesn’t have to cost a lot either! It does however take time, and a little effort but the return is well worth it! I am contemplating starting a class to educate locavores, food enthusiasts, and just about anyone interested in a low cost, locally harvested, healthy diet. This class will focus on hunting for those that have never considered it and will also include canning, and gardening. A few links that fit this category would be here and here.

Bone-in venison

I am working with a contact, who has done this very thing in Virginia with great success, in order to build a curriculum. I am also working with the local game wardens and the Penn State University Food Service department. I am considering holding the class near Philadelphia or Allentown, Pennsylvania. The class will cover ecology, and anatomy of the white tailed deer, marksmanship, ballistics, safety, field dressing, venison processing and finish with some sort of fine culinary dish. It may last one night over a number of weeks, or maybe a weekend long class.

If you are interested or know some folks who might be, let me know.

A fine Venison Dish

Images: Suat Eman /