By the way, kudos to City Pages’ Rachel Hutton who’s really turned the dining section around. Much less pretentious and much less time spent deifying chefs who cannot even run a professional kitchen.
Last week’s issue had a fascinating article on Long Cheng, St. Paul’s custom butchery. Basically, you go there, choose your animal (or bring in your own animal) and get it butchered.
Meat sold commercially in supermarkets or restaurants must be inspected by either federal or state Department of Agriculture employees who act as representatives for the consumer. But if an individual buys a live animal at a custom slaughterhouse (or brings his own animal) and pays someone to slaughter it (or slaughters it himself), the individual can take responsibility for the butchering process. While commercial slaughterhouses are subject to continuous inspection, their custom brethren are checked periodically to ensure they’re following Humane Slaughter Act guidelines and proper sanitation procedures. As the owner of a live animal, the individual is categorized similar to a farmer, who has the right to kill and eat his livestock without government intervention.