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But turn to the topic of meat and suddenly many people will give you a blank stare. Meat (along with dairy, fish, and eggs) has become widely regarded as something that should be available and unvarying 365 days of the year. The one exception to this is wild game, which is generally understood to be more abundant and in peak condition at certain moments on the calendar. The expectation that foods from farmed animals will be uniform throughout the year is logical because, to the extent that farm animals are raised in metal buildings with artificial lighting and fed mass-produced feeds in automated systems, the foods they produce will be quite uniform. And bland. Such foods will no more reflect changing seasons or regional terroirs than do the flavorless, hard strawberries available in supermarkets in January.
If we are seeking something better from our food and our food system, however, we must begin regarding meat and other foods derived from animals as among foods that have a season. That's because the most environmentally sustainable, humane animal farming is based on grass. Like other vegetation, grass has a season of plenty, a time of growth, reproduction, and then retreat.
The best animal farming is based on, and in harmony with, those cycles. All animals--cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys--benefit from being on pasture. Time spent on pasture gives an animal exercise and fresh air, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. It also tremendously enhances to flavor and healthfulness of the foods they produce.
As someone who has lived in the Bay Area for over 1/3 of my lifetime, I am VERY conscious of buying my vegetables seasonally. I would NEVER consider making an asparagus risotto in October or a peach cobbler in January.
Just like finding joys of eating root vegetables in winter, you need to find the joy in having chickens in May but not in December. The trick is keeping things interesting by finding new flavor combinations and new preparation methods. Eating this way brings you closer to the land and really makes you appreciate your food even more.