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Are vegetables the next pork belly?

This video from the James Beard awards gives a lot more credence to the haute vegetarian movement:

Look, I love me some vegetables and I'm ecstatic to hear fancy chefs saying they're going to get the star treatment, but these people have tasted pork belly, right? Its very existence is unfair to other foods. There is no next pork belly, and there was no pork belly before pork belly. There is only pork belly. And it is delicious.

By Ezra Klein  |  May 7, 2010; 2:09 PM ET
Categories:  Food  
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This is the most insightful, consequential blog posting Ezra Klein has had all year, perhaps ever. Almost brings a tear to my eye!

Posted by: zeppelin003 | May 7, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

A couple advantages eating vegetables has over eating pork belly:

1. You aren't contributing to global warming.

2. You aren't eating a sentient being who lived and died a life of barbaric slavery.

So yeah, I'll take vegetables, thank you very much.

Posted by: cassander | May 7, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

If satisfying your palette is important enough to you to justify subjecting an animal to a life of torture and death then we can't stop you. I have eaten meat in my past, but now that I am aware of the moral implication I can not.

Posted by: CraigMcGillivary1 | May 7, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

It's true, nothing can replace the pork belly.

Just ask the pig.

There will always be meat-eating humans, just as there will always be vegetarians.

To me, the only difference between eating meat and eating veggies is that you can't hear the broccoli scream when you kill it.

Posted by: MsJS | May 7, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Dude, by pork belly do you mean bacon? That's the absolute worst thing you can eat as far as colon cancer goes. It's one of the main causes, that and other processed meats. Better stop now while you are still young. My old man ate it every day for over 20 yrs and died at 66 from cc.

Posted by: rjewett | May 7, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I hear Chimp brain is absolutely delicious, too. At some point in the future, we won't accept the "deliciousness" of something as its justification.

“It is easy for us to criticize the prejudices of our grandfathers, from which our fathers freed themselves. It is more difficult to distance ourselves from our own views, so that we can dispassionately search for prejudices among the beliefs and values we hold.”
-Practical Ethics

Posted by: AZProgressive | May 7, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

you mean I missed the pork belly era?

Posted by: bdballard | May 7, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

MsJS: Or can you?

Posted by: Jicama | May 7, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

"Our taste buds in particular are designed to help us recognize and pursue important nutrients: we have receptors for essential salts, for energy-rich sugars, for amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, for energy-bearing molecules called nucleotides. Raw meat triggers all these tastes, because muscle cells are relatively fragile, and because they're biochemically very active. The cells in a plant leaf or seed, by contrast, are protected by tough cell walls that prevent much of their contents from being freed by chewing, and their protein and starch are locked up in inert storage granules. Meat is thus mouth-filling in a way that few plant foods are. It's rich aroma when cooked comes from the same biochemical complexity."

-- Harold McGee, On Food and Cooking

Posted by: SamPenrose | May 8, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Finally something culinary that I can agree with -- though I suspect Erza had a few when he wrote this...

Actually the best 'pig belly' I've ever had was in Berlin. It's called (not surprisingly) Schweinebauch and when grilled or roasted is just delicious. I used to buy it straight from the ready-to-eat meat counter at the supermarket -- and then barely got out of the store before I chomped down.

Ah, the good ole days.

Posted by: leoklein | May 8, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

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